Why Writing is Like Cliff Jumping

The other day, while shopping at Publix, I spied a teenager, with her nose in a book as she walked the aisles with her parents. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get close enough to get a good glance at the title. I wondered if it was required reading in English class and whether she was a) behind, b) a very busy kid and had to take every opportunity to read, or c) it was quite simply a very interesting read.

As I was stalking this child, I got to thinking about how bold I’ve gotten, thanks to my writing. I will talk to anyone about a book if I see them reading. I’m always asking questions. If I see something that will make a good subject or is what I envision for something for my book, I’ll snap a picture of it. The other day, I happened upon a biker-woman. She was dressed exactly as I’d written one of the character’s in my novel AND riding the exact same motorcycle. Yup – I took her picture. (Okay… maybe I’m not THAT bold – I snapped the photo while her back was turned to me.) But still, I never would have ever considered taking the picture of a complete stranger before. Or eavesdrop on conversations. Or stand in the middle of the woods, in the pitch black night — all in the name of research.

It can be summarized like this…

File:Korea-Busan-Cliff-Bunji.jump-01.jpg Writing is like cliff jumping.

You’ve got to be bold to (DISCLAIMER – this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Put thoughts and feelings and ideas down on the page, knowing one day some one may see them.
  • Send those intimate thoughts and feelings and ideas to a critique partner or read aloud at a critique group and take the feedback constructively.
  • Go to a conference and pitch to an agent or editor, or sign up for a critique with an editor/agent.
  • Polish up that manuscript and start querying agents, hoping that they will love your idea enough to request pages.
  • Send the requested pages off to an agent, hoping they will love them and ask for more and ultimately offer you representation.
  • Put yourself out there to the masses once you get that book deal. Doing the book signings, speaking at schools and generating the marketing machine that is YOU and your idea.
  • Taking the reviews with a grain of salt because this business is so very subjective.

I’m bold. Are you?

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