August 17, 2013

Getting noticed

Dear M,

Getting ourselves noticed the way we want to be, is one of the most difficult things in life. It is just so in writing. We may have the talent, the looks, the skills, the learning, we may even have excellent results to show. We are like that post-graduate, walking around with his certificates and trophies, but his prospective employers aren't interested or impressed yet. Getting our writing noticed by the right people takes more than mere talent.

We have our own set of admirers - a small group consisting of family, close friends and a few not-so-close friends - who believe in us. But what we really need is someone solid - an agent to represent us, a publisher to publish us. There is only so much that a set of close folks can do. If they are not writers themselves, then their efforts and appreciation are close to nothing. They can motivate us for a while, then it is up to us to motivate ourselves, to drive ourselves close to death. Have I mentioned recently that writing is lonely business?

Why is getting noticed so important? Because sometimes we need more than a measure of our own assessment. We would not grow and our skills would not develop, if we do not seek feedback from others.

We know we are good. We are good learners, and we are on the right track. But sometimes these are not enough. Especially in these times, it is not mere talent that gets us ahead. This is like a job-hunt, really. The one who pushes through the most aggressively, the most mercilessly, the most selfishly, gets the job. The persistent ones keep trying. Eventually their day will come. The ones who give up? They have lost.

But the battle just gets fiercer with each passing day. Everyone has to fight, to win, to get noticed. In writing, as in everything else.


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