Monday, September 15, 2014

To Fellow Writers...Mostly

I recently read an article, by an author, who wrote about his experience of marketing his book. It was such a discouraging article. He made it sound nearly impossible to get ahead financially in the writing field.

Believe me, I know it's hard work to make a dime as a writer, unless you get a wonderful break, but I also know, writing, writing, writing, and writing some more, gets work out to the public and soon results will be seen.

Last school year, while volunteering in the Art Discovery program, I read a story that really encouraged me to keep going with my writing career, no matter what.

Artists - Renoir and Monet's story. Talk about two men who didn't give up no matter what came their way.

I think about their story when I am feeling discouraged about my writing career. It is inspiring. So I wanted to share this story with fellow writers - especially, and anyone else who is stepping out in their creativity or working on a new business.

Back in their day, if a person desired to become successful as an artist, they would submit samples of their paintings to the "Official" Great Salon, in Paris. There, official "art experts," could either make or break your artistic career by accepting or refusing your work. In the 1800's acceptance by this salon was almost the only way to make it as an artist.

Many artist were refused by them.

Renoir and Monet were included in the group of the refused.

The prior sentence alone should be encouraging to anyone struggling...considering, how famous and valuable their work is right now. If you ever get a refusal from a publisher, don't let it get you down.. send your work to another one...right away.

In 1863, the Salon des Refuses, in Paris began showing the work of artist who had been refused by the "Official" Salon. Claude Monet, a friend and painting companion of Renoir's, exhibited a painting in the Salon des Refuses. It was called Impression; Sunrise. His painting was criticized for being just an impression, or an unfinished picture.

He was criticized at the Salon where those who had been previously refused showed their work.

Though this was meant as an insult, from that, his group of painting friends formed a group called the Impressionist.

I was absolutely tickled by this information. How easy, would it have been, for them to give up? Who would blame them. Instead, a new group of artist formed.

When constructive criticism or rejections come at a person it can be hard to deal with. Doubt may start clouding the mind of a very talented person.

One time I let someone read one of my projects I was in the middle of working on. The person handed it back to me stating, "Short sentences are a sign of ignorance." I took my work back, with my heart down to my feet, even though I had received many, many compliments on this piece of work prior to her reading it.

I started to struggle with writing my stories. I began to use semi-colons to make my sentences longer. And then one day, one of my writing partners brought up the fact that I used semi-colons alot, and that I needed to finish my sentences and use a period. I told her why I used semi-colons.

She smiled and kindly said, "Actually, short sentences is a sign of intelligence. If you can say what you need to say in few words, that is intelligent."

I took that in and started writing freely again.

Another thing about Renoir - he was raised in a poor family, in a three room home. One of the rooms his father used for his tailor shop by day, turned into young Renoir's bedroom at night. Renoir would sleep on a wooden bench in the studio at night and have to be sure to have his slippers nearby, so in the morning he didn't step on any straight pins lying on the floor.

Renoir started drawing at school all over his workbooks. One day, Renoir got a hold of some of his dad's tailor chalk and drew pictures on the floor. His parents weren't very happy about this since they were poor, chalk cost money, and it was used for his dad's work.

When his parents took a closer look at what their son had drawn, they noticed their son had talent. And somehow, they put money together to get him some pencils and paper, Renoir was soon drawing portraits of everyone.

At thirteen he left school for his first job, painting pictures on porcelain in a porcelain factory. After the painters were replaced by machines, he did various other jobs, until at nineteen he earned enough money to go to art school.

Renoir learned a lot at art school, but always experimented with better ways to paint. He made a lot of friends at school, and through discussing new ideas about art with his friends, they decided there should be a new way to paint. In a few years these young artist changed painting ideas all over the world.

He didn't sell many paintings though, he was very poor for a long time. It took awhile for him to win customers, but it finally happened for him, and at the age of forty, he finally had enough money to marry.

Fame happened for Renoir, along with illness. He had arthritis which crippled his hands, but he kept on painting. Young artist came to his home to learn and to be inspired.

It wasn't an easy road for him, before and after his success story, but he kept going, and did not give up.

And now...he is still famous...and his paintings are worth a lot of money.

Do you believe you are truly doing what you are to do right now?

Are you struggling?

Are things not going quite as you planned?

If you are doing something, you believe with all of your heart you are to do...don't give up...keep going through the hard times.

Keep perservering.

On a more contemporary note...the author of the book The Help worked and worked on her book for five years. She was refused over and over again. Her friends and family told her to give up, let it go...she didn't, even to the point of sneaking off to a hotel on the weekends to work on her book. Look where her book is now, and a movie was made out of the book.

Be prepared for the good times.

Keep writing. Keep sending your work out. Keep marketing.

Don't give up.

No comments: