Mark Terry

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Well, it's good advice...

September 1, 2009
I had the opportunity to watch "Galaxy Quest" on TV again this weekend. If you haven't seen it, it's a hilarious spoof on Star Trek with a great cast. Alan Rickman (ah, you'll always be Professor Snape to me, Alan) plays Alexander Dane, an actor who played an alien doctor on a Star Trek-like TV show ("Galaxy Quest"). His character apparently has this sort of mantra that ends with, "Never give up; never surrender."

Which are actually my words of advice today.

I can't say I'm having a particularly good day, but it's good in a non-writerly way. I had to get up and take my oldest son up to the high school this morning so he and a few other band members could play the school fight song for a bunch of teachers. So I took the dog and we walked around and I let him run loose on the football practice field. Then when Ian was done we drove to pick up my youngest son, who was staying at a friend's house. Then home, where we were all having guitar lessons.

And eventually I got to the computer to do some work.

That's all rather lovely, but nonetheless, it was 10:30 or later before I actually got to work today. It's a nice perk of being a freelance writer, but I felt like I should have been managing my time better.

Anyway, somewhere in all the running around, I thought, "Thank God you never quit writing."

As most of you long-time readers of this blog know, I periodically threaten to quit writing novels. My brother, a composer, sort of smirks at me whenever I say this. My wife just rolls her eyes.

Writing novels was my first writing passion. It was--and this is rather bizarre--my training ground for writing nonfiction.

And it all led to a career/job and way-of-life that I value a great deal.

If you keep writing, you'll probably get published. If you keep writing, it will invariably change your life. If you keep writing, it may even change your lifestyle. If you keep writing, it might become a career.

But if you quit, it won't. Period.

Mark Terry


Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

You know I've been on Facebook too much when I just want to "Like" this.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Ah yes, there's nothing quite so bracing as threatening to quit writing. Every serious writer should do so from time to time.

And for what it is worth you do increase your chances of publication by just keeping on keeping on. My first non-local sale (nonfiction) came when I was 36. My first short story sale (co-authored with Mary) when I was 42. First co-authored novel, 49. The latter came only 28 years after the personal deadline I set for myself when I was in school. If I hadn't sold a book by the time I was twenty-one I vowed to quit.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I really like Alan Rickman and I am so glad to see him with a steady decent-sized paycheck from the Harry Potter films. He appears in so many low budget indie movies but by using and Netflix I manage to track them down and watch them.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

What? A pep talk from Mark Terry? :-)

I periodically consider quitting. I don't know why I do . . . sometimes, I just think I'm tired of running on the hamster wheel. But I am not well-suited to have a real job, so . . . I keep writing.


6:47 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Too much FB? Is that possible?

6:50 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yes, everyone should consider it. In fact, for everybody who's writing competitive books in my genre, especially those who are already published, I highly suggest you quit. Then I can be the sole thriller writer out there. Dan Brown, are you listening to me? Yes, I mean you!

6:51 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

He's been in a lot of memorable roles. I liked him in Galaxy Quest (GQ?) because it's such a hilarious role for him.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Well, it's got to happen occasionally.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

Cool blog, Mark. This is my first visit and I'm enjoying the posts and links quite a bit. I completely identify with you on never giving up. I've told my wife numerous times, "Hon, no matter what I tell you about how well or poorly my current work is going, this is the only thing you ever need to tell me: 'Just keep writing.'"

So far it's been the perfect advice each time.

I suppose Alan Rickman will always be Hans Gruber to me, though! :)

Take care,

- Nate

11:03 AM  
Blogger LurkerMonkey said...

I'm with Nate. I still can't see Rickman without doing an imitation of Hans Gruber ...

1:04 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yeah, but his brother was Jeremy Irons.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

When ever that thought rears it's ugly head I run screaming...
In the words of the great Richard Simmons, "Never, never, never give up."

6:35 PM  

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