Monday, December 17, 2012

Insane Writing: Dig Deeper - A Guest Post from YA author Alexandra Tys O'Connor

by Alexandra Tys O'Connor

Shaun T, creator and driving force behind the Insanity exercise craze, is my new best friend and my biggest nemesis. He’s a slave driver, loudly encouraging peeps through their television sets to push themselves to their physical limits six days a week. His sixty-day program is guaranteed to give results.

If you push play, you will see results. Guaranteed.

“Dig deeper” is Shaun T’s motto—a motto that can be applied to the writing life in many ways.

If we dig beyond the surface of a story, we are guaranteed to find the unique slant. If we dig deeper into our lives with dedication and motivation, we will find the time to write—even in the midst of a busy week, month or year. If we plug away at our writing each and every day, we will hone our craft. If we push ourselves, we are guaranteed to see results.

But my question becomes, “What’s next?”

What happens AFTER we’ve sculpted insane abs or written that amazing manuscript/gotten a publishing deal/appeared on Oprah’s Book Club list? What happens when the goal has been reached? In essence, what is beyond deeper?

Insanity—the workout program, not the medical condition—is grueling. It’s forty-five minutes of intense physical activity. It’s a guaranteed sweat bath each day. It is sore muscles stretched to the limit and lung capacities taxed. Heck, I nearly vomited during the fit test, and I quiver to think of busting my behind six days a week for the rest of my natural life.

I suppose writing is much the same way.  If we want to mold our ideas into something marketable, we need to stick to a writing schedule that produces results. We need to dig beyond the writer’s block, beyond the rejection and beyond the success—because succeeding as a writer is grueling, too.

It is pressure to promote. It’s a need to sell-through the print run and put money back on the publisher’s bottom line. It’s a necessity to satisfy your readers each and every time your work comes out in print. It is insanity.

So you wrote a book. What comes next? What lies beyond deeper?

That, my writer friends, is a question only you can answer.

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Alexandra Tys O’Connor has an insane desire to succeed in the writing world. She digs deep while raising her family and advocating for at-risk youth in the court systems, squeezing in time each day to work on her Young Adult novels. Her debut byline can be found in The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse. She also blogs at Whispering Minds and curses Shaun T with great regularity.

3 comments:

Anita Grace Howard said...

What an awesome post, Alexandra! I'm in the midst of insanity as we speak, trying to simultaneously promote my upcoming debut (2 wks!!!) and write to a grueling deadline.

Sweat baths and sore muscles are sounding pretty good, right about now. Heh. ;)

Melissa said...

So much easier to whine about not having the time to sweat buckets/write a book than to just make it. Write it. Sweat.

Great post!

Mindy McGinnis said...

Thanks everyone for stopping in, and thanks to Alexandra for the guest post!