Saturday, June 6, 2009

Everybody Needs A Cheerleader

What does cheerleading have to do with writing? Absolutely nothing! Then why on earth did I say such a thing on a writing blog?

If you are a paper and pencil geek like me, you may not be good on the ball court but my, oh, my, are you the champion of the page...until you receive your 20th rejection letter in six months. It is then, my friend, that you will need a cheerleader--a source of encouragement to keep you motivated in the field. (Hopefully, you aren't receiving that many rejection letters and that the reason for not getting them is not resultant from a lack of submissions. Hint, Hint. If you are getting rejection letters, that could mean you are working hard toward your goal but haven't found the right venue. It could also mean you need to polish your work. Either way, you will need a cheerleader.)

The shoulder on which I cry often belongs to a fellow-writer who, in turn, will offer advice or words of cheer. Encouragement can also be found in a book or article.

Once a week, I will share tidbits which have given me hope along the way. While doing this, I will review items from my personal writing library. We will call them our "cheerleaders".

Today's cheerleaders are the books, #1. Writer to Writer, by Bodie and Brock Thoene, and #2. How to Write a Bestseller in 40 Days or Less, by Barbara DeBolt.

The first book, by the Thoenes is your basic "How-to" guide for writers with many facts covering genre writing but it is not written in a monotone voice. Instead, you will read quirky quips, proverbs, inspirational platitudes and deep wisdom from one who has been there and done very well for herself. (The Thoenes wrote several historical fiction series.)

The Thoenes know well that every writer has a potential hindrance to his or her goals. For some, it is rejection, fear, lack of knowledge or confidence. This hindrance, they name "The Lion" after Proverbs 26:13 which tells us, "The sluggard says, 'There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion is roaming the streets!"

"With this in mind, it is now time to put the lion to sleep!" say the Thoenes, who then encourage readers to list their lions and ask the Lord whether each is an excuse or a reason and then give them all up to Him.
As one who has been chased by many lions, I found this encouraging. Excuses are worthless and reasons can be overcome--especially when you have a book like Writer to Writer to tell you all the "secrets".
As an aside, there is one cheerleader recommended by the Thoenes that every writer must have: The Writer's Market Guide. Along with it, may I recommend the Christian Writer's Market by Sally Stuart.

The other book I referenced, by Barbara DeBolt, is pure energy with practical steps to writing your 40,000 word book, chunk by chunk, in 40 days. It even gives you ideas for using spare minutes in your day to add to your word count. The book is only 108 pages long but every page is a gold mine.

"If you write just one page a day, by the end of the year, you will have written a 356 page novel," writes the author. Imagine what could be done with four or five pages per day!

Other cute quotes are: "Why have you let your dream become your nightmare?" and "If you let
these everyday excuses become obstacles, you will never find time to write." Wow! I think I will dust these books off and read them again!

How about you? Do you have a "cheerleader" story you wish to share? A book that encouraged you in your writing goals or a friend who said just the right thing?

Join the conversation. I'd love to hear from you.


Rich and JoJo Tabares said...

Even if you don't send your boosk away to be accepted or rejected, (I self publish) you WILL be accepted and rejected by your customers. You need a cheerleader! Thanks for this post! I'll be yours any time!

BeckyJoie said...

Thank you, so much JoJo! You're a great cheerleader/encourager to many!

AmberInGlass said...

Wow, what great insight. Thank you for the post, BeckyJoie, and also thank you for those book reccomendations. I will certainly have to read them both.

It is often so easy to let those excuses become formidable lions and scare us away. You are absolutely right. Sometimes all it takes is a few kind words from a friend--a cheerleader, a fan-- to get you through that hump and to keep going.

I just found you through and am very glad I did. I'll be coming back. If you have some time please come by my own blog and say hello, I'd love to talk to you more.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Without cheerleaders, I would probably give up writing!

Great references to cheer us writers up. Thanks!

BeckyJoie said...

You are welcome! Thanks for the nice comments, everyone.