Saturday, January 7, 2012

A remedy for the wanna-be-a-writer blues

Feeling a little down in the dumps these days?
  • You want to be a writer, but you don’t know where to start.
  • Your teacher or someone in your writers’ group said you don’t even have enough talent to fill a thimble.
  • Your parents or your husband tell you to “get a life,” and while you’re at it, get a job that pays the bills.
  • You just got another rejection slip.

Perhaps what you need is a dose of soup, chicken soup. It’s amazing the healing power this old-fashioned remedy can have.

In an earlier blog post, I gave some advice for writer wannabes. I’ve always believed you can not be a writer if you’re not a reader. Reading opens new worlds, spawns ideas, provides examples of what works and what doesn’t as words play together on a page.

If you’re like me, a book brings as much comfort to you as your grandmother’s old cat Snuggles does to her. You “don’t leave home without” one.

You probably already know the books you like and the ones you don’t – the writers who touch you and entertain you and the ones who do absolutely nothing at all for you. Whether you know it or not, you’re learning from each and every one of them – what to do, what not to do, how to build a sentence and when you don’t even need a full sentence.

But there’s one genre of books you don’t want to overlook. They’re books for and about writers. In coming blog posts, I’ll share some of the ones I’ve read and what I’ve learned from each and every one of them.

Yes, even the bad ones have at least one good lesson in them.

If you’re looking for a remedy for what ails you, when you’re doubting yourself as a writer and feel as if everyone else is, too, pick up a copy of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul. It contains 80-some stories about writers, ranging from Ray Bradbury to Richard Paul Evans and Sue Grafton. You’ll read – usually first-hand accounts – of their doubts, determination, willpower, work ethic, struggles, mentors, supporters and more.

But most of all, as you slurp your chicken soup and some of it dribbles down your chin, you’ll know you’re not the first to do so and you won’t be the last. Each of these writers can show you a figurative t-shirt with years of soup stains and another which has emblazoned across the chest, “I’m a writer – and darned proud to be one!”

© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012

(Image via)


  1. Ann-- I'm getting a copy today! I enjoy your blog. dee

  2. Good for you, Dee!

    Thanks for dropping by.