Challenge. Accepted.

Quote

“Nothing worth anything in life is ever easy”

This is something that I often say to people, and it defines the very principle by which I live my life. Life is the most worthwhile thing in the world, and is therefore the most difficult.

As I have posted about recently in my article about New Year’s Resolutions, I have suffered many personal issues this past year that have really pushed me from my path of becoming a professional journalist and photographer. Because, life is not easy.

Barney Stinson quote, How I Met Your Mother

“When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story” – Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

I have made it very clear to myself, my friends, my family, and my readers, that this year I have every intention of finding a balance between my personal and professional life, and earning money from my photography and journalism.

It is not going to be easy, at times it will be darned hard, but it is going to be really worthwhile. So, as Barney Stinson of the How I Met Your Mother television series has said many, many times…

“Challenge Accepted!”

I am breaking down my target into short-term, more achievable goals

  • Advertise my services
  • Gain 200 Likes on my FaceBook Page
  • Update website to have price list, references, etc, to encourage potential paid work
  • Send selection of works from photography and journalistic Portfolios to magazines and newspapers for consideration of publication
  • Brainstorm ideas and write enough “short and sweet” articles to set up the Blog to publish one every week for two months. This will develop my ability to write shorter articles and within a time limit.
  • Type up the interviews from Euro Gamer Expo 2012 and publish them
  • etc, etc, etc – more targets on the way soon!

I shall be posting updates on my progress, which you can follow in my Personal Progress Blog category, Subscribe to my updates with the ‘Stay Informed’ button on my starting page, ‘Follow’ me on my Twitter, or ‘Like’ my Fan Page on FaceBook.

If you have any comments or suggestions to help my in my task, I encourage you to Comment or Message me.

Image credit: Offset-Zero of deviantART

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Write What You Know

I have been scouring the internet looking for more “inspirational quotes” as I seem to get the most clicks onto my Blog for those and I think people really like them.

I found that the most common, famous quote for many writers who are trying to inspire fellow pen smiths appears to be

“Write what you know”

Many famous authors, poets, journalists, etc, have said this, and to a certain degree, I think it is really valuable advice. Sometimes it seems obvious that a writer would find it easiest to write about their life, their experiences, their opinions… but the fact is, “easiest” is not always best.

So, my “inspirational quote” for you today is not that of a famous writer, but that of my own, from me, aspiring writer, to you, my fellow aspiring writers, or even to those of you that are already professionals in the field.

“Write what you do not know”

Illisia Adams

“Why advise this?” you might be questioning me presently. I shall answer.

A good writer writes well when they are writing from their personal experiences and opinions (etc). A great writers writes from the experiences of others, from their imagination, from outside their comfort zone.

I think that this is especially important for journalists. I have read so many articles in the past where the writer is clearly of a certain opinion, writing about an event or a film or a lifestyle, etc, that is not to their taste, and although it is their professional requirement to be neutral, especially when they are an informative journalist (as opposed to a journalist who reviews films, for instance), many seem far too opinionated.

I have been writing a lot of articles about my opinion on certain topics, and as much as I feel this is my strongest writing, I have looked at my work and have decided (as I posted about recently) that I need to test myself, to stretch my experience and knowledge, to delve into more factual articles that require much research, quotes, etc. What good am I as a journalist if I cannot vary my writing for different topics and styles? Inside the press room, your Editor will give you a task, and you do it. You do not complain that it is not something that you are interested in, and the finished product should always be something that you can be proud of, that you can say you put all your heart into, even if it was difficult.

Even writers of fiction should heed my advice. C S Lewis, best known for his Narnia books, was also a writer of science fiction. Steven King, the best selling horror author in history, has also written some stunning thrillers which have been made into successful films. Yes, fantasy was Lewis’ strongest genre, and horror will always be King’s, but even they knew this…

“A good writer writes well when they write what they know… but a great writer writes well when they write what they don’t.”
Illisia Adams

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

I have articles that are almost ready to shown to the world. But with the possibilities as to what exactly I want to do with the aforementioned articles, I was overcome with fear and doubt as to whether, if I spoke with the local newspapers, with journalistic websites, etc, I would be laughed at, ridiculed… rejected…

And yet something occurred to me. I had heard tell of many of my idols, my inspirations, having that same fear, but “stepping up” and pushing through it. I have decided that I too will push onward and upward, no matter how lost hope feels. I will make those calls, send those emails, and yes, I may be rejected, but “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again”…

You know all the great writers. Authors, playwrights, poets, screenwriters, journalists… Many household names have suffered the same setbacks that we, the unpublished, have. They too received their fair share of rejection, and today I share some of these rejections with you, as a reminder that perseverance really does “pay off”. I, too, and those of you also seeking to join the ranks of professional writers, can overcome adversity and share our words with the world if we truly put our minds and our hearts to the task.

The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.

Some fifteen publishers rejected the timeless, true accounts of The Diary Of Ann Frank.

We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.

Stephen King received dozens of rejection letters for his first book, Carrie. Clearly they feared his controversial, dark imagination…

It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.

One publisher regarding George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.

Said the San Francisco Examiner of one of Rudyard Kipling’s (The Jungle Book, Just So Stories) short stories.

There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.

Said one publisher of the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Sylvia Plath.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from film schools twice before he was finally accepted and went on to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Tim Burton was hired but then shortly thereafter fired by Walt Disney Studios for his writing being “too dark” for children but he has since written and directed dozens of popular children’s films. Some sources suggest that Jack London (White Fang, Call Of The Wild) had his short stories rejected hundreds of times. Even Shakespeare was insulted and rejected by his more educated fellow playwrights in his early years.

Even J.K.Rowling, one of the best selling children’s authors of all time, who famously penned he best selling book series ever published, Harry Potter was rejected frequently, before the (then) small publisher Bloomsbury finally said “yes” after the child of one of their Editors practically begged him to, and thank goodness she did.

Remember, the next time that you are feeling life’s rejections of your creativity, that there is always always hope.

Further Reading

  • A detailed article here on Examiner.com with quotes and figures of author rejections, where I found several of my examples.
  • Fellow Blogger Benny Hsu discusses many examples of Famous People Who Found Success Despite Failures with some really inspirational quotes.
  • Read about examples of 50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First
  • Joyce Spizer has compiled a book entitled Rejections of the Written Famous