#AtoZChallange: Z is for Zoo Animal Escaped and Caught

 

BlogAtoZ_Z

So this is the only “animal” having escaped from the “zoo” that is my April’s Blogging A to Z Challenge. Having spent too much time writing and enjoying the articles for letters A to Y throughout the month, I had to face reality in the end and shift my time and energy to finishing a translation project. Therefore this last article for letter Z was not written until this afternoon, four days into May! Well, better late than never.

We all have deadlines, sometimes set by others, but more often imposed by ourselves — and I would suggest it is the latter that puts more weight in our mind. In this day and age we writers have to be perfectionists, doing our best to look after readers and critics (and publishers if and when we are attached to them). Writing is a process of pushing ourselves to our limits, and often beyond. It is a way to polish that precious gemstone we all have within, until it SHINES.

Somehow this reminds me of an article I saw recently, which explores whether anybody and everybody should publish a book just because they can. The link is here if you are interested, but I would urge you to think about it carefully before accepting what others have to say. To me, the answer seems to concern not so much with a simple yes or no, but how. Not how to decide whether a book is wroth publishing and in what channel and/or format, but how much we are determined to work on it to make it perfect.

In other words, just because publishing is easy these days, it does not and should not mean we can take it easy. If we are not commmitted to doing the hard work, then it is guaranteed our book will be lousy. Readers, and critics in particular, can tell whether we have indeed done the work. More importantly, WE know it, and it shows. There is and will always be a trace of guilt, of failed disguise, of loud and clear emptiness, of words written just for the sake of filling up the pages, that we can detect in the so-called writing produced by lazy writers. That is not publishing. It is called churning out mushy dough.

Writers come and go; we rise and fall. We pick up a book and drop it like a hot potato, or rather like a cold fish, when we sense that it is not perfect as it should be. Readers, as well as critics and publishers, stay away from lazy writers. So, if we want to succeed as writers, then we need to work hard to polish our writing and research skills, distinguish our styles, build up our publishing networks and communities, listen to our readers and critics, and read — read as much as we can. Remember: If we dig long and hard, then the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will one day be revealed.

 

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