Mark Terry

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Directions Not Included

May 14, 2008
Pondering many things today, but what I was thinking about most is how our writing careers don't come with directions or a road map. Some people just seem to have it figured out and some never figure it out. Most of us, I suspect, who have any success at all, are like Frodo and Sam in the Lord of the Rings, who are pretty much given directions--meet me at The Prancing Pony and we'll go from there--without really any real directions involved. We take that first step out the door with no real idea of the challenges awaiting us.

Go write and send it out, we'll go from there.

Never mind the hundreds, maybe thousands of rejections. The loss of self-esteem. The frustration. The broken dreams. The anger. The denial. The depression.

Hell, none of that was advertised in the brochure. Why didn't someone tell me?

In a lot of ways, the very act of writing is the same way. You can pretty much read all the writing books in the world, pretty much read all the books in the world, even have a mentor who guides you, but really, the only way to get there is to sit your ass down and write and figure out what works and what doesn't and when. It's like we're given this real cool, complicated toy, but we have no idea what it does or how it works. The only way to figure it out is to use it.

And try not to break it or get bored with it in the process.

Because that happens, doesn't it?

My kids are video gamers and one of the things I've noticed is that if the game is too easy they whip through it and are bored with it. If it's too hard (doesn't happen as often now) they'll get so frustrated with it they'll give it up. But if it's challenging, if it's fun, and if they can find themselves making progress and discovering new aspects of the game, they'll play it for days and days and it'll become a pretty standard part of their gaming repertoire.

I don't imagine I have to club you over with the head with the point here.

So to that extent, I think it's worthwhile, no matter where you are in your writing career, to occasionally look backward and see how far you've come. Got an agent? Get something--anything--published? Got a kind word from an agent or editor? Went around a corner and realized you're a better writer? Got a contract? Making money? Making a living?

Is the cool toy still cool? Or is it a constant and un-ending source of frustration, anger and depression?

Cheers,
Mark Terry

p.s.
My wife, Leanne, has had a sort-of promotion with a sort-of new job. In other words, more responsibility, a new title (General Manager), but no increase in pay to go along with it. She works in a laboratory of a very large international clinical laboratory provider that will remain nameless. Her new lab job really only sorta has a name, so I provided one.

GO-ASK-LEANNE SHE-HAS-IT-THOUGHT-OUT LAB.

In other words:
GAL SHIT-O-LAB
Leanne Terry, General Manager



15 Comments:

Blogger Josephine Damian said...

Alert the media! It's official!

Stuart Neville, my Prince of Darkness, and the writer formerly known as "Conduit," has landed an agent - and not just any agent - but literary powerhouse and legend, Nat Sobel.

His agency, Sobel Weber Associates, New York, represents a few scribes you might have heard of: James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, American Tabloid), Joseph Wambaugh (The Choirboys, The Onion Field, Hollywood Station), Pulitzer winner Richard Russo (Nobody's Fool, Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs), F.X. Toole (Rope Burns - adapted for the screen as the multi Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby - and Pound for Pound), Robert Jordan (the Wheel of Time series), Tim Dorsey (the Serge Storms series), and many more.

Oh, Nat also loves him some cats. My kind of guy.

And how did Stuart get on the Uber agent’s radar? I’m going to steal a bit of Stuart’s thunder and reveal to my blog peeps that Mr. Sobel scouted him on the Internet. That’s right – a big name agent was scouring the online crime magazines and plucked our man from obscurity. (of course I’ve been singing Stuart’s praises loud and clear since last fall when I first read his work in Agent Nathan’s Bransford’s writing contest). To those of you that don’t believe agents are poking around the world wide web looking for The Next Big Thing – here’s your proof. Here. Is. Your. Proof.

So do stop by and give a big shout out to the literary world’s best and brightest rising star!

http://conduitnovel.blogspot.com/

*shake my booty*

Having already read Stuarts’s manuscript (it already holds the distinction of being only one of four books I liked well enough to finish this year) GHOSTS OF BELFAST, I can tell you it’s nothing by clover ahead for this blessed son of Northern Ireland.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Well, congratulations to Stuart.

9:30 AM  
OpenID eric-mayer said...

The comment about high powered agents scouring the internet for talent is certainly appropriate for your post because that sure wasn't included on my writing map.

My map was kind of like the map I got off the internet years ago, when such maps were new. It advised me to turn off the expressway onto such and such route where the two roads crossed. Which would've been fine, except I would've needed wings to glide down from the overpass to the road that went underneath, with nary an exit for miles and miles. That's what seems to happen with the writing career maps -- they make sense, up to a point, but unfortunately at some point require an impossibility to occur.

A fellow who sets orienteering courses once remarked that what participants want is a doable challenge. They want to tax themselves enough to make it interesting and feel like they've accomplished something but in the end they want to be able to finish the course.

I like the idea of the toy you fiddle with but aren't sure what it does. Maybe with each twist this way and that you are destroying a galaxy somewhere.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Eric,
Well, I decided to go the high road with Josephine's announcement about Stuart's good luck. Um, far be it from me to feel simply ONE THING about ANYTHING, but aside from a slightly mouth-agape feeling of, "How am I suppose to respond to this?" the other thing I'm inclined to think is:

One incident does not make a trend.

And on a potentially snarkier note (my cold just won't go away!), I might add, oh, well never mind...

10:59 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Wow, foot in mouth. Don't take it personally, She's automatically telling everyone, and, um, must not have read your post, or at least, must not have put two and two together. I've never seen her spam comments before.

The cool toy is still cool. I think it needs an upgrade, but it's still cool. It's easy to say that at the moment, since all I've done is write recital programs and student bios.

How you feel about writing, at least the business part of it, is how I felt about piano teaching for nearly two or three years (except times a hundred). It was awful; I think I cried at least once a month, sometimes once a week (I'm not that much of a girl; I was truly that miserable with trying to please the parents for the sake of the business and constantly feeling like I was sacrificing what was in the best interest of the kids for what was convenient and easy for the parents). I have no idea how I got out. Went to a conference, actually. And once more believed it (whatever it is) is possible. Hope again, I guess.

Know where hope is for sale?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Mark:
Whether it's a shiny new toy to me varies by the day. Hour. Minute. When I've had sleep, when my advance checks come on time, when I don't have more bills than money in the month, when the writing is flowing, I love my toy. Other times . . . not so much, but it's ALWAYS better than working for The Man.

Congrats to the wife. I think. More responsibility. No more money. I like your title for her.

E

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat

9:08 PM  
Blogger sexy said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,按摩棒,G點,跳蛋,跳蛋,充氣娃娃,角色扮演,SM,潤滑液,威而柔,精油,自慰套,自慰,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,A片,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛,A片,色情,成人,做愛,色情A片,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,免費成人影片,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,情色電影,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,情境坊歡愉用品,情趣用品,情人節禮物,情惑用品性易購

8:48 PM  
Blogger thanh99 said...

アダルト販売
[PR]
自家焙煎
[PR]
カフェポッド
コーヒーギフト
コーヒーポッド
性生活
シャネル 新作
シャネル 通販
[PR]
[PR]
コスチューム
coupple/
[PR]
大人のおもちゃ
アダルトグッズ
大人のおもちゃ
ドレス 通販
先物 ネット
[PR]
バーチャル投資
食材宅配
クレジットカード 審査
エアコン取付
オナホール
[PR]
エアコン 東京
カップリングパーティー-9/
医学論文翻訳
[PR]
洗面台
物置
水栓
結婚式
[PR]
アンドロペニス
仮性包茎
ダッチワイフ
[PR]
まつげエクステンション
まつげエクステンションスクール
まつげエクステンション講習
探偵 調査
素行調査
結婚式 二次会
大人のおもちゃ
アダルトグッズ
フェイシャル 麻布十番
英会話 教材
[PR]
税理士 東京
TAYA
田谷
電報
[PR]
まつげ エクステ
カップリングパーティー
探偵事務所
[PR]
オーガニックアロマ
[PR]
電話占い
カップリングパーティー
ウェルカムボード
株式 情報
SEO
モバイルSEO
携帯SEO
競馬
京都競馬場
大きいサイズ 婦人靴
身辺調査
妻浮気
悩み相談
探偵紹介
探偵事務所
行動調査
追跡調査
[PR]
[PR]
[PR]
[PR]
[PR]
オナホール
TENGA
バイブ
順位チェック
結婚関連情報
[[PR]]
生活役立ち
GooGoo
トゥグテョランダ

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice site. thanks.
熊田曜子 熊田曜子 画像

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

皇潤
皇潤
茶のしずく
茶のしずく
セルブライト
セルブライト
アムラエッセンスで髪健やかに
江原道化粧品お試しセット
レディースプエラリア99%
ムチャチャ:muchacha:
グラグラ:grand-ground
二重まぶたにする方法
まつげエクステ「アイラッシュ」通販
アイホーン通販
リバイタラッシュ
リバイタラッシュ
アンプルールお試しセット
アスタリフトお試しセット
トリニティーラインお試しセット

アスタキュア
ウィ アピシア
ベアミネラル
ビーグレン
即日発行 クレジットカード
ベトナム株口座開設
ベトナム株 投資
クレジットカード 即日発行
吉野家牛丼通販
フェブリナ(フェヴリナ)ジェルパック
ブロードイオン
三七石鹸
ナノアクアナチュラルソープ
オフィス家具 通販
茶のしずく
皇潤
ベトナム株の口座開設
酸素カプセルガイド
カルジェル
加圧トレーニング
オーベルジュ
EGF化粧品パソアパソ
外反母趾の予防と矯正
H&M(へネス&モーリッツ)
O脚の改善と矯正
電動自転車
フーレセラピー
シロアリ対策ガイド
鈴虫寺
フーディア
スパリゾート
カルニチンクイーン
カルニチンクイーン
にんにく注射ってキクの
質屋:大阪
質屋:東京
質屋:名古屋
@借金相談
別れ方
ゆたんぽ
トモセラピーとは
歯並び 矯正治療
アートメイクでいこう
日焼けサロンでいこう
超音波エクステ
TOIEC勉強法
借金無料相談
ベランダ ハト対策
黒鯛の釣り方
少年野球のピッチング指導法
スノボーの滑り方
薄毛対策・抜け毛対策
純金積立て
ダイエット食品通販
アルジルリン
化粧品お試しセット

11:01 PM  
Blogger jislsnhd said...

It is the shadow of legend Gold which make me very happy these days, my brother says sol gold is his favorite games gold he likes, he usually buy some buy shadow of legend Gold to start his game and most of the time he will win the cheap shadow of legend Gold back and give me some shadow of legend Gold money to play the game.

8:04 PM  
Blogger 蹦蹦 said...

buy wow gold
wow gold
buy wow gold
eve isk
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
warhammer gold
warhammer power leveling
bestchina traveland
UGG Cardy
UGG Classic Short
Tiffany Necklaces

5:56 PM  
Blogger susan said...

I hope i can get wakfu kamas in low price,
Yesterday i bought wakfu gold for my friend.
i want him like it. i will give wakfu money to him as
birthday present. i like the wakfu kama very much.
I usually buy wakfu kamas and keep it in my store.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a new player , you may need some game guides or information to enhance yourself.
goonzu gold
is one of the hardest theme for every class at the beginning . You must have a good way to manage your goonzu money.If yor are a lucky guy ,you can earn so many buy goonzu gold by yourself . But if you are a not , I just find a nice way to get goonzu online gold. If you need , you can buy cheap goonzu gold at our website . Go to the related page and check the detailed information . Once you have any question , you can connect our customer service at any time .

10:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home