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.