Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Paid With Pride



I'm so excited to have the lovely Julie Musil on my blog today! Julie is someone I've respected and loved forever, and she pretty much has the best posts on craft and inspiration in the industry. Today she's going to talk about being paid with pride as writers. Here's Julie! 


Perhaps my hubby and I are in the minority, but we’ve never paid our kids for good grades. Instead, we tried to instill in them a sense of pride for working hard--no matter the outcome. I don’t judge other parents who do pay for As on spelling tests, because all parents have different styles.

When my 17-year-old son told a classmate, “I’d rather get an honest B than get an A by cheating,” I knew we were on the right path for us.

I’m glad my own parents were too poor to pay for As. I worked hard in class simply because good grades were my drug of choice. For a nerd like me, there was nothing sweeter than the high I got from my report cards. Pride became my payment.

We can implement this same attitude toward writing and publishing. How?

   Accept pride as payment for a completed body of work. Have you finished a short story? Have you typed “The End” on a full-length novel? These are major accomplishments. Whether or not your story ever earns money, you can be proud that you’ve created something unique.
   Accept pride as payment for a professional product. Have you polished a manuscript according to a publisher’s or agent’s guidelines? Have you studied grammar and plot structure, then applied what you’ve learned? If so, you can feel proud that you’ve created a professional product worthy of submission.
   Accept pride as payment for compliments from others. Have you received a positive critique? Or did you receive valid criticism and used that to make positive changes? Has an agent or editor offered words of kindness, even if they rejected your piece? If you’re traditionally or indie published, did a reader give your book a glowing review? If so, rejoice in what you’ve done right.
   Accept pride as payment for carving your own path. Have you taken the road less traveled? Have you ventured into unknown territory with fear? Have you tried one road, realized it wasn’t right for you, then switched? If so, you should be proud of your courage. We won’t know which path is right for us until we take that first step. But that first step can be difficult.
   Accept pride as payment for the example you’ve set for others. If you’re a parent, have your kids watched you work hard and persevere with a good attitude? Did they cheer you on as you took a major leap? Have you inspired other writers to be bold and pursue writing on their own? Have you encouraged another writer to keep on keepin’ on, despite setbacks? If so, you should be proud of your impact on the lives of others.

Notice that none of these measures involve real money. Cash is great, but for most writers, this journey is not about financial gain, but about honing a craft and sharing a piece of ourselves with others. There’s great peace in knowing that payment is rendered by ourselves--in pride.

Are you proud of all you’ve accomplished? Have you reached a major milestone lately? Have you taken a small step forward? Please share!

 
Julie Musil writes from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her Young Adult novels, The Summer of Crossing Lines and The Boy Who Loved Fire, are available now. For more information, or to stop by an say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Isn't Julie fabulous??? Do check out her work. She's so incredibly talented. (And The Summer of Crossing Lines is out TODAY!!! I just bought my copy!) I know that I'm definitely reaching some of my own milestones right now, and it feels good to continue to discover who I am as a writer. 

Thanks Julie, for gracing us with your presence today! <3 

Red. Head. Out. 

47 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan and Julie - setting that example all through life is the important thing .. what a great way of explaining how important our life is by just being us, and doing our best along the way - so good luck to you two authors .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, thanks so much! Have three sets of teen eyes watching me all the time is a great reason for many attitude adjustments :)

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  2. That is a great attitude to take, Julie. I will take pride in what I've accomplished. I never expected more anyway.
    Congratulations on book number two!

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    1. Alex, that's a great point about expectations!

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  3. I love the idea as pride as payment. It's one of the most valuable things on earth. Sometimes the intangible is far more valuable than the tangible. Have a great day Morgan and Julie!!

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    1. Thanks, Optimist! (love that name, by the way) It's nice when we can pay ourselves with something plentiful :)

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  4. Inspiring others is much more important.

    Congrats on your new book, Julie.

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  5. pride is a good payment indeed as barely any ever get rich, congrats

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    1. Pat, exactly! Might as well enjoy the right and be proud of ourselves along the way.

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  6. I had no idea people actually pay their kids for good grades, lol. I love being able to look at a book I wrote and say "I made that." Best feeling in the world.

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    1. ilima, I know! I didn't know about "pay for grades" until my oldest was in...I think it was 3rd grade?

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  7. There are some books I'm most proud of having written, since they're so long, complex, were with me for so long, and took so much time and love to craft. Ultimately, a good name we can be proud of matters more than all the riches in the world.

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    1. Beautifully said, Carrie-Anne! Congratulations on having a body of work you're proud of.

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  8. So true, there's so much out there that's more important than money (don't get me wrong, money is important too). We need to learn and teach a sense of balance, instead of greed. We need to do well, just for the sake of doing well. I hope I can instill that in my children.

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    1. S.P. the biggest thing I'm learning with raising my boys (all three teenagers now) is to lead by example. I'm sure your kids will watch you with pride!

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  9. What a great post. the challenge is getting your kids to buy into it so many in the world don't.

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    1. Donna, great point. It's definitely a challenge these days.

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  10. We write because we love it, not because we expect to pay the bills with it. If such a thing happens one day - awesome! If not - doesn't matter! We're having fun writing and just enjoy knowing that we have loyal fans who love our writing as much as we do.

    Besides, I don't think many writers realize that you have to sell a LOT of books before you can truly do this full time. Selling even 5,000 copies a year isn't going to buy you much more than a guaranteed diet of ramen noodles and tap water.

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    1. Beer--so true! If we aren't doing it for the love of it, why bother? Most writers I know don't expect to get rich financially. But they're rich in perseverance and pride!

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  11. Ha! I got paid for grades, but then my parents stopped paying when they realized I would get good grades no matter what. As for taking pride in finishing the book, I think that's incredibly important because there isn't much outside validation for us writers.

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    1. Rena, that's so funny! Hey, at least you cashed in for a little while!

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  12. It's definitely the little things that matter! Everything we do is such a process--especially writing. It's so important to enjoy the milestones. Congrats on the release!! :D

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    1. Cortney, so true! We might as well enjoy the journey :)

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  13. Yes, pride is payment! Thank you so much for the reminder, Julie! I loved this post and needed to hear it today.
    Congrats on your book release!! :)

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  14. This is a great post. Feeling a sense of accomplishment no matter what is important. When I finally held my book in my hands, I knew, if I never sold a single one, I'd still feel good about it.

    Of course, seeing those deposits in my checking account makes it even sweeter. :P

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    1. Melissa, I know EXACTLY how you felt about holding that book! I swear, I don't have to sell any books to make me feel as satisfied as I felt when I held that book. Of course, the money is nice too :)

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  15. LOL! Plan to get paid in pride because those dollars are going to be pretty thin to begin with, eh? ;) Great advice. We definitely have to celebrate the steps along the way and the things we do accomplish.

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    1. Amen to that, Crystal! Might as well pat ourselves on the back for all those steps forward.

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  16. We always paid our kids for good grades. We have two going to college on full academic scholarships, so we're not regretting the choice one iota. LOL. But it is very important to teach our kids to be inner motivated- to be proud of themselves by what they accomplish and not what others think of them.

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    1. Elizabeth, see? It worked for you, and that's great. Everyone parents differently :)

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  17. Some great advice Morgan and pride can certainly be a valuable currency :) Congrats on Julie for typing "The End" and best of luck to her!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mark! Pride is definitely a valuable currency, and no one can give it to us...we have to earn it!

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  18. I like this, especially since grades were my drug of choice too. I think I can incorporate this philosophy. Thanks, ladies.

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    1. Rawknrobyn, nice to know I'm not the only geek who got "high" off report cards!

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  19. I love this idea. I never got paid for grades either. :)

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    1. Rosalyn...nice! And It looks like you're doing just fine :)

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  20. I love the thought in this! I was never paid for grades and didn't know anyone who was, but loved the payoff for my work. Though I will say that I would really love a better paycheck for my books--I'll admit to being rather sick of being poor :)

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  21. There was a study done that showed that intrinsic motivation is the BEST motivator, and even if you have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the extrinsic is actually detrimental to you. That study changed my whole perspective!

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    1. SC, that's fascinating! I can see how that's true. Just today in the car one of my 14 yo's was telling the other about how much pride he felt when his Boy Scout patrol won a contest, because he was leading the patrol. Pretty cool stuff.

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  22. Wow, that was nicely put! I agree, but never made the analogy between pay for grades and pay for writing before. Spot on!

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    1. Mark, we writers associate just about everything with writing, don't we? Thanks so much for the visit!

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