Sunday, August 19, 2007

Finding Inspiration

I’ve had an incredibly difficult time trying to find something to write about. I started a couple subjects only to dump them. I was dissatisfied with the words dragged out of my fingers. Everything appearing on the wide white screen lacked inspiration, simply because any inspirational words seem to hit a road block in the creative section of my brain.

Then I got the UTube video, I passed on to the Black Diamonds of a cell phone salesmen, in England, by the name of Paul Potts.

His voice brought tears to my eyes. He was competing in an English, American Idol type show. His comment, “All I’ve ever wanted to do was sing opera.”

He inspired me. He took a chance. Is he as good as the great opera singers of our time? Probably not, but still he was wonderful. Most of the singers on these shows are young. They sing hip hop, country, and more modern tunes. I have yet to see an opera singer, although admittedly, I don’t watch it that much, and don’t know if they even would consider one. Since the competition goes on, and the singers have to really be able to sing different types of music. Still this man took a chance.

In order to get what you want, or to even give yourself a chance, you have to put yourself out there. For writers the competition is stiff. There are hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers, chomping at the bit as they fight their way towards publication. The field is incredibly crowded, not just from the RWA stand point, but even then I suspect we make up for most of the queries going to agents. Outside our genre, the writers stand shoulder deep in desire to see their dreams come true. Most won’t make it. It’s only the few who do.

But we can’t think that way. We have to be the Paul Potts of this world and take a chance with a contest, or agent and go for the gold. Will he get a recording contract? Maybe. Will he stand on the world stage and sing? Maybe, but maybe not. He will have the knowledge he tried. He stood up on the stage and sang, if only for his fifteen minutes of fame. And oh, how he sang.

When I first started writing, in my naivety, I queried agents, just knowing they’d want my story. Just knowing they’d love it. Wrong. I squirm at the query letters, and have sense shredded them, out of fear someone might read them. The rejections were harsh, they were many, and it hurt.

Still I’m here, still trying, still writing, still learning. The rejection letters are getting better. I’ve gotten requests for fulls and partials from well known agencies, the rejections were not of the standard type, but personal, giving me advise I so much needed and took to heart.

I still enter contest, placed in one, get back better and better comments, with higher and higher scores. I can read the comments now, without grimacing. In one contest, in the past, one judge hinted, loudly, I should give up writing. I don’t get those anymore, either.
There are times we all ask ourselves how long we can do this. I know there may come a day when I’ll stop sending out the query letters, but the day will never come when I stop writing.

For now I’ll continue to take my chances, to enter contests, go to conference, meet agents, and send out queries. For now I’m still Paul Potts, who loves to sing.


To see Paul sing. Go to: com/watch? v=1k08yxu57NA& mode=related& search=


Jill James said...

Wow, that brought tears to my eyes. That man had the voice of an angel.

We could all have the voices of angels in our writing, but we won't know that until we put it out there for others to read.

Karin* said...

Lee it takes a special person to persevere in the face of adversity. But those who do, win.

Lee said...

Excellent...I hopt to win, as do most of the Diamonds.

Anonymous said...

That inspired me.