Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Call to Arms

A Call to Arms

Do you have your psyche on your side?

I’ll be addressing that big question from a number of angles in the future. For now, I’m concerned with the sector of your psyche that houses your fighting spirit.

If your goal is to get your work published or keep your work published or have your work better published, you are in a battle – a battle that requires you to be a fierce fighter.

The battleground metaphor applies to a writer’s perennial position in the publishing world, not only during these difficult economic times, but always. You must sharpen your weapons for the assault and keep those blades keen for the duration of your career.

You may have an agent or some other professional advocating on your behalf. You must not hand your career over entirely to these intermediaries and figure you’re off the hook. That’s very bad strategy, exactly opposite to being a savvy professional yourself.

You must be a warrior on behalf of your work. Let me say that again. YOU MUST BE A WARRIOR ON BEHALF OF YOUR WORK.

Feel the intensity of that. Take it in. Get it on gut level. You are commanded to make a powerful, unswerving commitment to do battle in service of your career. Only the most ferocious power and intensity will do – from this moment on for as long as you maintain your career.

No saying, “I can’t do that aggressive thing. It’s just not me.” This has to be you, the new you if necessary or the person you behave as if you are.

Of course, you must avoid lopping off something you need with your massive broadsword, something like your professional relationships.  You must be the sword of steel in a velvet scabbard, the velvet of diplomacy.

You know how to do that. You know how to do all of this. You are smart and brave. You may only have been waiting for permission to unleash the fighter within you. Consider that permission granted.

Welcome, Warrior, to the fray.

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