OK, so a writer toils away for hours, days, months, years, in her office while the sun shines and people are inviting her to do fun things like play golf or go to a lecture or even shop!
Why?? Because it's something she loves to do more than anything else (except maybe a game of tennis), and she believes she's good at it. Herein is the crux of the matter: how does she KNOW she's good at this craft?
Then it's time for an objective opinion. In my first venture into publishing, I took the first one hundred pages of my manuscript to a sportswriter for The Providence Journal, since my memoir was the saga of our two sons in the Red Sox minor league system. He perused the pages in front of him, suggested it should be a more intimate mother's story, and declared, "You've got to publish this!" He then gave me the names of two reference books to purchase, which would help me develop a proposal for literary agents.
But somehow I kept believing I had written something worthy of publication. After all, I had two professional writers who had told me so! That stayed with me through all the rejections, through all the networking that proved useless, and through the months searching for an independent publisher. Yet I had never published anything before. I didn't have a "platform."
But I had a flow and my readers really cared about our sons in their quest toward the major leagues.
Now my second book is ready. It's called A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR CHILDREN WITH ELDERLY PARENTS (WHO STILL HAVE THEIR MARBLES). It's a handbook based on the bizarre and often laughable antics of my parents in their eighties and nineties. But the "rules" also apply for negotiating through hospitals, rehab centers, and nursing homes. There's even an Appendix where terms like "Medicare" and "Medigap" are defined, with websites and phone numbers. A SURVIVAL GUIDE been professionally edited twice and is ready to go.
But my first publisher went out of business!! So ready to go where?
Ready to go through all of the above process, all over again.
Why would I want to put myself through that again, you ask?
Because I have to write. My inner life depends on it. And publication means validation.
Take my advice: pick up a pen and jot down what's happening to you. Jot down your family history. Jot down funny conversations. Jot down what you see out your window. Maybe you don't want to see your words in print, but someday your inner life might depend on it, too.