Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You Are Never Invincible

So many people have teased me about being a writing major when I have a book coming out. I constantly get jokes from my friends and family like, "Shouldn't you be teaching those classes?" or "So I bet college is a breeze for you."


Today, I got a paper back from a professor. She said it needed "substantial revisions" or I'd get "below a B." Obviously, I'm going to do the revisions and try for a better grade, but this goes to show you.

You are never invincible.

I may be getting published, but I still have a lot to learn about writing. For one, I write fiction. My research papers are absolutely horrible. My poetry is mediocre. My personal essays are incredibly undeveloped.

And being a writing major involves very little fiction.

But it's more than just my major. It's everything. I know so many aspiring writers who hold such high hopes for their futures after being published. I know I did. Somehow, it's like you think time will stop once your book sells, or once you get an agent, or the day your book hits shelves. You think time will stop and your world will change - only, that's not how life works.

Getting published is an exciting process. The past year has been the most exciting and great of my life! And I know it'll only get better as the days tick closer to my release date.

Here's the thing, though. Being a published writer doesn't make you invincible. You won't get dates easier. You won't become so much more popular - most people don't know the effort it takes to get published, and once your book is out, there will be a lot of people who don't even know your name. And you won't necessarily get A's on all your papers for school.

You are never invincible.

In reality, it's a great thing to sell a book. You'll see your art - your baby! - on shelves! You'll make fans, for sure (and haters, that's inevitable, too), and you'll probably have a blast along the way! But it won't make everything in your life better.

The truth?

Deadlines are HARD and they make you want to pull your hair out.

Edits are also INSANELY HARD.

Some people will hate your book.

Some people will hate your cover.

Some people won't like you for one reason or another.

Your feelings might get hurt.

And you are never invincible.

These are things I wished someone had told me. It wouldn't have changed my mind about pursuing publication. It just would have made me more realistic. And I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing it either. In fact, if want to encourage. If publication is what you want, GO FOR IT!

Just know that it won't make you invincible.

Nothing will.

Little secret? Even movie stars, our national symbols of true glamour and glory, have bad days.

We're not superheroes. We're people. Writers, published and not published, are all people, and people have weaknesses and ups and downs and are never ever ever perfect.

But wouldn't life be boring if we were?


Remilda Graystone said...

This is so true. Your post is a great way to learn the lesson the easy way. I'm not agented, published, or anything like that, but I have to admit that I find myself thinking things will change if I ever get published. *sigh* How naive I can be sometimes...

Karla Calalang said...

This is such a fantastic post, Kody! I love it. SO true :)

middle grade ninja said...

The writing is its own reward. Everything else is gravey. Thanks for this post.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You know what? (God, I sound like my kids) No one is going to care that you poetry is mediocre, your research papers are aboslutely horrible, and your essays are incredibly undeveloped (okay, maybe you're professors will) when The DUFF comes out. We only care about your plot, characters, and overall skill as a fiction writer. And from what I've heard, they all rock. ;)

Loretta Nyhan said...

This is just such a great post, Kody. I read it twice.

Laura Marcella said...

Great post, Kody. Isn't it funny how non-writers think all writing is the same? If only ALL kinds of writing could be simple! No matter what genre you write, the writing process is hard.

But like you said, it's all worth it when you finally achieve your goals!

Kody Keplinger said...

Stina - This might be true, but not everyone will care that my fiction is good. The fact is, there will be a TON of people who have never heard of me! And my professors caring is vastly important since I need a degree in order to achieve my other career goals - but after that, yes. Its okay if my poetry sucks. LOL

Kirsten Hubbard said...

in general, I got straight Bs in all my comp lit, essay-based college classes, and straight As in my creative writing classes. they are two different beasts entirely. it was very exciting to figure that out.

Valerie Geary said...

What a beautiful, honest and inspiring post, Kody! Thank you!

Celise said...

I totally understand. My supervisor, whom I also consider my friend, asks me for help sometimes in writing letters. "This should be easy for you. You're a writer." Yes. But I write fiction. I'm good at making things up. But when it comes to self evals, writing emails explaining a company-wide project, writing department policies, etc...it's not easy. It's a struggle. It's different when you're writing fiction, writing for "real" (I'm in school, too) and writing personal (blog or letter).

storyqueen said...

Oh, Kody, this is so true! I've tried to share this thought with my writing friends before, but have never put it as articulately as you just did.

Every book is just as hard as the last to write. Not in a bad way, of course.

But it is not easy.

and you kind of never cross the finish line.


Anonymous said...

I so agree with this - I am a college student but work professionally at a marketing firm as a staff writer, and a few of my classmates know. The other day someone walked up to me and just asks quickly, "How do you write this in correct AP style?" I had no frigging idea, LMAO! I had to tell them that even "real" writers crack open style guides when they're on the job!

Larrissa Loyd said...

Hey! You know my little sis, madelyn! Maddy talks about you alot! She says she misses you even though she only saw you like twice with mrs. Krysti! and I actually met you once at a twilight thing at hot topic! But I read the summary for Duff, it sounds wonderful! I can't wait to read it!

vyxen said...

You are awesome.

Great post. Great truths. Great warning. :)

Anonymous said...

YES! This is so true, Kody. I'm expected to be good at English class (high school, not college) just because I've written books/have an agent/sound crazy.

But I'm not the best at writing essays etc etc.

Great post. We definitely are never invincible :)

Kelley Vitollo said...

Wonderful post. So very true!

Nishant said...

This is so true. Your post is a great way to learn the lesson the easy way.
post free classifieds

Altha Fidia Oktora said...

I say many thanks to the father of the website admin I read this, because at this website I know a lot of information information that I did not know before his

Obat Benjolan Di Kepala Tradisional
Menghilangkan Fistula Ani
Obat Benjolan Di Kelopak Mata
Pengobatan Benjolan Di Paha Herbal
Obat Penyakit Degeneratif
Pengobatan Angin Duduk Herbal
Obat Gagal Jantung Akut
Obat Alami Benjolan Di Selangkangan
Menghilangkan Nyeri Vagina Dengan Obat Herbal
Jamu Pelangsing