jump to navigation

Inventing: the Artist and the Art February 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Word Play, Writing & Writers.

To succeed as writers, we need more than access to a  good dictionary or thesaurus.  To paint with words, we need imagination and inspiration.  To create, we need energy and enthusiasm.

And, like all inventors, we need purpose, passion, patience, and persistence:

Purpose ~ why do you write?  What do you hope to create  with your words?  Do you want to educate, entertain, share what you’ve learned about the world, or earn enough money to quit your day job?

What do you want to write about:  Travel, Food, Animal Rights, Science Fiction, Creativity, Happiness, Relationships?

How will you define success?  How will you get from “here” to “there” ~ from where you are to where you want to be?

What’s the plan?

Passion ~ are you really a writer?  Many people like the idea of being a writer, but far fewer really enjoy writing and the solitude it requires.  They are intrigued with the idea of getting paid to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, but they lack passion for the journey.

To achieve “success in uncommon measure” requires passion.  Writing needs to be our raison d’etre.  We have to enjoy the journey, not just slog along.

Olympic medalists do not get invited to stand on the podium because they liked the idea of being world class athletes.

Writers rarely land on the NY Times Bestseller List because they liked the idea of becoming bestselling authors.

Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.

Patience ~ are you ready to invent yourself?  We need to be patient as we learn the craft of writing.  We need to first create the artist, and then  create the art:

You are your own raw material.  When you know what you consist of and what you want to make of it, then you can invent yourself. ~ Warren G. Bennis

Writing takes practice and patience.  We need patience as we allow our words to unfold into stories, articles, and essays.  We need patience as our novels  incubate and sit quietly before we can edit them with a reader’s eye.  We need patience while waiting for  responses to queries and submissions.  We need  patience, even after acceptance, as we wait to see our words appear in print, and for our first royalty checks to arrive.

Except for newspapers and on-line publications, the written word rarely moves at the speed of light.

Short on patience?  Don’t sit idly on your hands while waiting . . . get started on your next project.  Always be writing.     

Persistence ~ can you handle rejection?  Chances are good that the first article/ short story/ novel you write will be rejected.  You may have to endure a string of rejections before receiving your first acceptance.  Do you have what it takes to keep going after the sting of rejection?  Can you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again?

Persistence is the key to success.  Edison did not invent the light bulb on his first attempt.  Or his second, third, or fourth.  He succeeded because he  persisted with his “bright idea” until the light bulb, literally, lit up.

Same with the Wright Brothers as they attempted to take flight from the dunes at Kitty Hawk.  Wilbur and Orville “crashed and burned” more than a few times before their idea “took off.”

Rejection is not fatal, and you cannot fail . . . until you stop trying.

If your purpose is to write, if your passion is to be  the inventor of tales, if you have the patience to invent both the artist and the art, if you persist in your efforts to take one step at a time in the direction of your dreams, if you keep writing, you will succeed.

When we wake up each morning determined to enjoy what we do, we win.  No matter what happens, we win.

Quotes to Ponder: 

* Inventing is a combination of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less material you need. ~ Charles Kettering

* The difference between being able to understand something and inventing it in the first place . . . is called genius. ~ Craig Bruce

* The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish. ~ Evelyn Waugh

No Rules.  Just Write!

Submitted in response to Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ INVENTION

Related posts:  Cooks Cook.  Dancers Dance.  Writers Write. * Life . . . A Journey, Not A DestinationOur Field Of Dreams * Our Internal Compass *  The Thrill of Victory & The Agony of Defeat * What to do When a Publisher Rejects Your Novel (Global Mysteries) * Fun with Numbers: Publication Odds * Stop Mocking Me! * Stay Focused on the Journey * Featured Artist: Leslee Hare ( Mirth and Motivation) * Interview: Nazia Mallick (My Literary Quest)


1. theonlycin - February 11, 2011

I really like what you did with Sidey’s theme!

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

Thanks! We both discussed passion! But mine doesn’t include wine, roses, or chocolate dipped strawberries. 😀

My BFF just showed up with a bouquet of flowers for me ~ early Valentine’s Day! Yay for hearts and flowers. And chocolate!

2. oldancestor - February 11, 2011

Speaking of writing, that was a well-written post (like your others, by the way).

I’m continally amazed by the level of talent out there in the blogosphere.

Thanks for the reminder to persist. I think I’ve got the other stuff, as far as the will and at least some concept of how to string words together. But the endless rejection tempts me to toss my laptop into the dumpster and forget the whole thing.

But then what would I daydream about while I’m at work?

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

Thanks, Old Ancestor! I don’t always “write” well ~ but I’m an excellent editor. 😉

Take heart . . . JK Rowling received a boatload of rejections before a publisher agreed to take a chance on our favorite wizard ~ Harry Potter!

Daydreams do come true. Keep writing.

3. Carol Ann Hoel - February 11, 2011

I don’t think I qualify 100% on this test. I like to write and I’ll probably always write. Published or not. In fact, I can’t force myself to write only to be published. There has to be more. Blessings, Nancy…

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

I agree ~ when we enjoy the journey of writing, the destination of publication (or not) becomes much less important.

If we write only to “be published,” without enjoying the process, we are apt to be in for a bumpy ride.

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

When we wake up each morning determined to enjoy what we do, we win. No matter what happens, we win.

4. Patricia - February 11, 2011

I don’t think I can explain why I write…I just do. Being published is not even on the radar. I like that the work of writing,for me,is like playing with my favorite toys.

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

I agree. I love the journey of writing. If it leads to publication, somewhere, down the road, great. If not, maybe that’s even better. 🙂

There is nothing that I would rather do most days than write. Just letting one word flow after another.

5. viewfromtheside - February 11, 2011

the peoblem with so many of us is that we can’t stop. the addiction is there,

but having all of your p’s is what makes the addiction a success

nrhatch - February 11, 2011

Your purpose is to discover your purpose, and then pursue it with passion.

The purpose is the journey ~ the unfolding of the path . . . to see where it leads.

6. jannatwrites - February 12, 2011

Awesome post, Nancy!

I’ve always been short on patience, so writing with publication in mind frustrated me. Since I’ve adjusted my thinking (and goals), I feel less pressure.

Whether or not I get published, I don’t know, but in the meantime, I’ll continue to write blog posts, stories, novels, or whatever else feels like being put on paper 🙂

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

Thanks, Janna.

Writing is such a joy for me . . . wherever my words ultimately lead. The idea of pursuing publication (when I could be writing) holds less appeal. Maybe someday.

7. granny1947 - February 12, 2011

The 4 p’s…don’t think I have any of them…oh dear!

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

Your morning posts are a PLEASURE to read. 🙂

8. kateshrewsday - February 12, 2011

Brilliant post, Nancy, which made me feel great and terrible in equal measure. It’s the persistence thing: not in writing, but in submitting it to people. I change tactics so easily. Must bear in mind my favourite Prime Minister’s maxim: “Keep Buggering On”. Resilience, resilience, resilience.

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

Thanks, Kate. The writing landscape is peppered with “P’s.”

I excel in PROCRASTINATION. I bought the Writer’s Handbook for the first time in 1994. After not using it (with extreme persistence) for 16 years, I bought the 2010 Writer’s Market.

It’s sitting on my shelf waiting for the day when I get serious about actually submitting something. 🙂

I have a PASSION for writing, but no PASSION for publication ~ except, perhaps, pressing PUBLISH on WordPress.

9. eof737 - February 12, 2011

Excellent Nancy… very inspiring piece. I’m ready to do battle again! Now where is my pen?

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

Pen and Perspiration! Two more “P’s.”

Thanks, Eliz

10. postadaychallenge2011 - February 12, 2011

I always love to hear what you have to say about writing. Yes, to have a purpose is so important. “no rules, just write.” Wonderful way to keep motivated. I guess, Nancy the hardest part is to “narrow” down one topic that is why I love this wordpress.com challenge – different topics daily. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/category/topic-ideas/

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

I’m a forest gal myself ~ I would rather right about the Elm one day, the Oak the next, and the Douglas Fir on day three.

Spending the whole of my writing life discusing the ins and outs of mating habits for pine borer beetles vis a vis the forest primeval is not my cup of tea at all.

11. Maggie - February 12, 2011

Ah, patience. The most difficult one to adhere to… Great post!

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

I think I’m too patient . . . “If you write it, they will come.”

I’m waiting for a publisher to show up and say, “Yes. We like what we see. Now write it for me.” 🙂

12. flyinggma - February 12, 2011

I LOVE this post Nancy especially this part:

“When we wake up each morning determined to enjoy what we do, we win. No matter what happens, we win.”

This is an excellent attitude to hold no matter what we job or task we are waking up to each morning.

My favorite guy in the world outside of my husband and other family members is our garbage man. Each week he comes to our home and business and picks up the trash with a smile on his face and a dance in his step.

He enjoys his job or at least does a great job of making you think he does. I want to be like him.

nrhatch - February 12, 2011

Thanks, Jeanne!

Happiness is not determined by what happens ~ it is determined by how we view what happens. If we wake up each morning determined to enjoy whatever comes our way . . . we smile more often.

We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh.

13. Carl D'Agostino - February 13, 2011

It is not only creating with words. It’s taking the liberty to create words. Esp adjectives or ones that make a verse rhyme. Spelling phonetically is fun too.

nrhatch - February 13, 2011

U R sew rite!

14. suzicate - February 13, 2011

And, like all inventors, we need purpose, passion, patience, and persistence – you hit the nail on the head!

nrhatch - February 14, 2011

Especially if we wish to Pursue Publication. 🙂

15. l0ve0utl0ud - February 16, 2011

I really enjoyed reading this post. It reminded of the importance of persistence when writing! Thank you for sharing this.

nrhatch - February 16, 2011

Glad it resonated with you! I swung by to check out a few of your recent posts.

Loved your post on not feeling compelled to finish reading a book if its not enjoyable. I’ve written along the same vein. Let me know if you want the links.

16. tahliaN - March 16, 2011

Hi Nancy, I just came over from Pooja’s blog. This is a great post. INspiration is what starts you off and keeps you going and why you are writing in the first place for me makes the difference between giving up and sticking at it. I hope my writing will contribute to a better world and that’s reason enough to make it good enough that it will actually get out there and do it.

nrhatch - March 16, 2011

That’s a wonderful perspective, TahliaN.

When we view our writing as a way of “giving back,” it keeps us motivated to share what we’ve learned the best way we know how.

Glad that you swung by from Of Parchments and Inks.

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: