|Lara M. Van Hulzen|
The New Year's here and we're going to finish our novels, query every editor and agent we know and then cover every social network like there's no tomorrow!
Maybe not ...
So how do we prioritize (and re-prioritize)? Here's some thoughts from Lara M. Van Hulzen. ~ Angie
I’ll be honest, I’ve been discouraged lately. Writing is a tough business. And when I say business, I mean truly the business side of it. I read a lot of advice about writing and there’s quite a bit said about writing because you love it, because you’re called by God to do so, because you’d wilt and die if you didn’t – and don’t think about publication or an audience per se all the time. Write because it’s what’s in your heart, in your soul. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. When you are trying to get published, sitting down and working on a manuscript can come from the heart, but to push your head out of the way feels close to impossible. How can you not think of whether an editor or reader will like it or not? Especially when you’ve had rejections and the negative voices swirl around in your mind as you work.
I’ve noticed a trend lately. I love being on Facebook and Twitter. I really do. But I’ve discovered that I can’t read them on days when I am not hammering away at my computer on a manuscript. If I do so, it seems as if the entire world is out there working and writing 24/7. Truly. I read tweets and posts at crazy hours of the night and think, “Is it really something we have to do ALL THE TIME to get published?” I feel like I’m in a race and I am always behind. As I read tweets and posts, it’s like I can see these people at their desks, their fingers tapping away at all hours and they never leave. Is it really all they do? Does no one ever take a break to read or journal or go for a walk or paint? I have to do those things or I lose touch with my creativity. Am I the only one?
I’m a wife and a mom and I love being both. I’m one of those that wanted to grow up and get married and have a family. I love all that it brings to my life and all that I get to give because of it. And being a wife and a mom takes time, effort and energy. I love writing too. But I fear that if I try to keep up with the tweets and posts, I’ll miss out on the hugs, the laughs, the tears, the events and the life. I’m not saying I can’t do both, but I don’t like feeling that I won’t make it as a writer because I want those things too.
So here’s my current stance. I am a writer who would love to have a book published. I will put my behind in the chair and do what it takes to get words on the page and get the job done. I will do it with heart and soul and I will wait on God’s timing. But I won’t do it at the expense of missing out on living life. If I did, I wouldn’t have a single thing to write about anyway.
What's your stance on social networking? How much time do you devote to the Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus? Which gives you the most "bang for the buck?"
Lara M. Van Hulzen received her BA in Journalism from Point Loma Nazarene Universtity in 1994. Her first published article was when she was a senior in high school. She has worked as a book reviewer for the past 18 years with various organizations such as Crossings Doubleday, YouthWorker Journal, and www.radiantlit.com. She is represented by Diana Flegal at Hartline Literary Agency. She lives with her husband and three children in Northern California. Connect with Lara on her website: http://www.laramvanhulzen.com/.