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Writing Tidbits

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Reach For The Stars

By E. P. Ned Burke

We are never present with, but always beyond ourselves: fear, desire, hope, still push us on towards the future.

-- Montaigne

Have you ever noticed if someone tells you that there a billion stars in the universe you’ll believe him but if that same someone tells you a fence post has wet paint on it you just have to touch it to be sure?

Human nature is peculiar, isn’t it? Why is it that many of us prefer to believe the improbable rather than the possible?

And, when it comes to unfounded skepticism, authors appear to lead the pack. All it takes is one book rejection for the world to end. “Why me? Why me?” cries the mortally- wounded author who is certain he is a complete failure or an unrecognized genius that nobody will ever accept.

On the other hand, there are those wannabe authors who will willingly hand over big bucks to some “Vanity” publisher that guarantees instant fame  and success. 

Possible? Perhaps. Probable? Not likely.

Between these two extremes dwells the real author of today. He (or she) plods along, receiving his share of rejection slips with as much annoyance as an avid golfer would to a slight sprinkling of rain. It doesn’t stop him. He just shakes off the beads of disappointment and continues on, knowing that a sunny acceptance is somewhere ahead.

If there is one lesson to learn in the writing game, it is to never stop reaching for the stars. New authors are becoming famous every day. Look at Nicholas Sparks, author of Message In A Bottle. His book became a major motion picture.

But a few short years ago, Sparks was just an average guy, working the average job and living the average life. But, he did dare to dream the impossible dream. 

Today, that dream is reality. 

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul --

And sings the tune without words

And never stops -- at all.

-- Emily Dickinson

By and large, authors live in a fantasy world of their own making. 

Non-writers find this world confusing and unrealistic. But, the true author does not let disappointments, criticisms, setbacks, deter him from his quest. 

At times, it may appear to others to be an unrealistic world. And perhaps it is. However, is the dream of becoming a successful author such an impossible task? I think not. People from all walks of life have shown it can be done.

It’s that possibility of actually touching the stars that keeps authors going “where no man has ever gone before.” It is okay to come down to earth once in awhile to touch that fence post and face your doubts and fears. But don’t dwell there. Wipe your hands clean and write yourself back into your own world.

"Writing is a solitary occupation," said author Laurence Clark Powell. "Family, friends and society are the natural enemies of a writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking."

So reach for those stars and roar!

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