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What is success anyway?

Hello friends,

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month – where writers try to write 50,000 words in one month) is upon us again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate this year. I’ve done it a few times now–along with Camp Nano (which happens in April)–and I’ve lost sometimes, and I’ve won sometimes.

But what is winning? And what is losing?

I always thought I lost Nanowrimo if I didn’t make it to 50,000 words in one month but when I was debating whether or not I wanted to participate this time, I realized that even if I didn’t “win” I’d end up trying hard and I’d end up writing more than I would otherwise.

In the writing world, there’s a whole pile of people deciding what makes others successful.

So I’ve decided I really need to get every voice out of my head other than my own and those of writers who support one another no matter what. No matter the publishing path, level, genre, or background.

I’m participating in Nanowrimo. I’m already a winner.

I’m a winner because I want to write and share my stories and I’m taking the steps I need to do that.

What could ever be losing about that?

If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer and you start putting words on a page, congratulations to you! No matter who you are or what your end goals are, you’re brave and you’re a winner. With each attempt you’re getting closer to where you want to be. There are plenty of people who want to write a book and never even get started. It might take you a while but you’ll get there if you keep working.

Success!

rocky

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Finding support along your writing journey

Hello friends,

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about the bumpy road that I’ve traveled along during my writing journey. Sometimes, it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels in the mud and I really need to turn and look back at where I began.

Reality will surprise you.

Let me just start by saying that I’ve been lucky, I’ve had quite a few people who supported and encouraged me from the start. But I was surprised that some of the people I initially thought would support me most haven’t. Their words saying one thing, their actions showing quite another. I’ve talked to other writers along my way who don’t have any family or friends supporting them. It’s incredible how many people think writing is just a hobby. I don’t fault them. When I was in third grade, I never thought I could be a writer when I grew up. So, I wrote in my free time while working a “real job” for the entertainment of my work friends and my family, never thinking I could share my work beyond my small circle. Imagine where I could be now if I took my writing more seriously way back when. But wondering about that is a whole other blog post, and I’ve tried to train myself to stop doing it.

Back to my point…to the writers who are just starting out, don’t stop if you find you’re not getting the support you long for. Just write and connect with people through your blog (if you have one) on social media. You might find people you barely kept in contact with from long ago will suddenly be the ones lifting you up. You may find people you don’t even know will be the biggest fans of your words.

You’ll find your people.

Don’t get discouraged if some of the people closest to you that claim to love you and support your work don’t show that support. They don’t follow your blog or read your blog posts (let alone an entire novel), they don’t share anything on social media, they definitely won’t buy your book or write a review. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you, but they just don’t understand how hard a writer’s journey is and how much encouragement matters.

In the beginning, they may be all you have, and when you don’t feel supported, it can make it hard to continue. So, to any writer starting out, I just want to remind you that you need to try your best to keep putting words down even if you have no one who wants to read them at the moment.

Keep pushing. Keep moving forward and don’t let that discourage you.

You may just find that strangers or people you barely know will be the ones to encourage you and read every word you write. Take the time to make connections on social media. Get to know these strangers because, before long, you might find that they aren’t strangers anymore but friends.

Someone I barely knew on Twitter, but who I found funny as hell, enjoyed my tweets as well. And now she’s one of my besties, and we chat every single day. She’s one of my biggest supporters, and she more than makes up for the lack of encouragement I found from others, and she makes me believe in my talent.

Shout out to Billie Jean! You’re amazing, and I love the poop out of you!

I also found others who have supported me. People I barely know. And I didn’t do this by posting and shouting about my writing/book all day. On my blog, I write from my heart–including ups and downs. I spend most of my time on the social media platform I enjoyed most (Twitter). I play games. I goof around. I interact with other posts and tweets. I don’t censor myself. None of this is challenging because I have fun. This should be fun, after all. Sure, you’ll still get discouraged from time to time, but now you’ll have people behind you who will lift you up and make you laugh.

Don’t let anyone make you feel foolish.

I’ve had people in real life squash me and make me feel like my usage of social media is stupid and a waste of time. They made fun of how much I tweet. Yeah, I tweet a lot, but I’m spending time with the people who support me. How can that ever be a waste of time?

Boo to the people that bring you down! Some people who will claim to support you but may secretly want to see you fail because they’re jealous that you dare to follow your heart.

At the end of the day, you need to concentrate on the ones who want you to succeed, for real, no matter how you met them or where you met them.

If you’re a new writer and you don’t have support, I’m here, and I understand. Feel free to comment or email me kalicecompeau@outlook.com.

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Check out this blog post!

Check out this blog post!

I’m so flattered and thankful to fellow writer BrokenAnvil29325 for writing this blog post about me! Check it out here…via Meet K. Alice Compeau

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