by Tina Radcliffe
I firmly believe in the philosophy of happily-ever-after, hard work paying off and that eventually everyone who pays their dues will graduate from the school of hard knocks.
I don’t believe there are short cuts to success for authors. Writing is a gift and a craft. Gift is that immeasurable package of God-given talent you were born with. It is unique and individualized with your name only on that gold box with a big gold bow.
Craft is the honing part of the trade we have chosen. We are writers by trade. We are tradesmen working diligently over the years to develop body, mind and spirit of our craft.
Can gift and craft be separated? Certainly. But ideally, they work together.
My personal favorite visual is that of a glass blower. We start out as a raw and fragile pipe of glass that is heated and molded. Occasionally we mess up and it breaks and we start all over again.
The secret is to find that perfect mix of gift, forward motion and painstaking attention to the detail of the craft. Don’t rush your personal development of gift and craft. There is a learning curve and it’s unique for each of us.
Being gifted doesn’t always translate to a finished product.
Additionally, if you rush the craft and miss some learning opportunities you may find yourself with a nice product, but eventually those skipped learning opportunities will catch up with you and you’ll be forced to stop and backtrack, sometimes even start over and you’ll be very frustrated.
There are no shortcuts. Generally, if something seems to be too good to be true in publishing, it is. Overnight success’ have no foundation. They easily break.
Instead, focus on your uniqueness. Your color, opaqueness, bubbles, imperfections and whittle marks are how you turned out after you went through that hot fire of development.
While it may seem to be torturously slow, the final product is worth it.
Tina Radcliffe writes for Harlequin Love Inspired. She’s refined by fire regularly. Her latest release, Mending the Doctor’s Heart will be available in April 2013. You can find her at www.tinaradcliffe.com or in Seekerville, www.seekerville.net.