Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Obdurate

obdurate–adjective 1.unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2.stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.
    A writer needs to be Obdurate when it comes to their pursuit of publication. You may be asking," Wait a minute. What about yesterday's post?"  I know, my post on N was pretty harsh. It was meant to be. I think all of us need to make decisions about why we're writing and what we hope to achieve. 
         If writing is something you do for enjoyment, to relieve stress or just for fun then this post isn't for you.  I'm talking about writer's like me that not only write because they "have to" but are working towards publication. It is this breed of writer that needs to balance their obdurate side with where they hope to go with their writing. Here are some ideas about how to do that:

1) Remember why you are writing in the first place. Sometimes we forget and when that happens it is easy to lose our way. I write because it gives me joy just to see words on a page and it is how I understand the world and my place in it.

2) What do you hope to accomplish with your writing? Basically, what does success look like to you?  Is it publishing a few short stories, winning some contests and writing a blog? Or are you in pursuit of that book on the shelf or E-shelf with your name on it? Maybe you want all of that and be able to make money? Or you're planning to support yourself with your writing? I have a strong desire to touch people with my writing in the same way that literature and media have influenced my life. I also hope to become a published author and make money doing something that I love.

3) How much time are you willing to devote in pursuit of this dream? This could be a time-frame, say 5 years, 10 years, etc. Or it could be how many rejection slips you will take before you call it quits. I have committed myself to a 5-year plan. I won't ever stop writing but I will face the fact that I can't, in good conscious, continue to pursue publication at the expense of doing my part to support our household. 
All of these are very personal. They may change over time too. That's OK. The important thing, in my opinion, is to continue to learn and grow and stay in tune with why you're writing. Professional writers must be Obdurate in their pursuit of publication and producing quality work.
Why do you write? 


  1. I like your personal choices, and your statements of purpose. Helps you remember the goal as a process, not a "thing". I once said to a multi-pubbed author how happy she must have been to get her first book published. She looked at me cross-eyed and said, "I was full of panic. My publisher expected I could do it again."

    No matter what the stage, we have to be stubborn, and unrelenting, and obdurate. Great post.

  2. Great O word. I have a husband who matches this O word, and he's not even a writer. Now I need to go back and read your N post.

  3. You've raised some good points. I'm so glad I found your blog. I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

  4. I learned a new word :-)

    I write because I enjoy it, plain and simple. If it leads to publication one day, all the better. If not, so it goes.

  5. Obdurate: unyielding. But if we were unyielding, we'd keep going with a manuscript that might not be working. I go for Desire and Determination. And I'll keep writing because it's the one thing I can do well. It's been wonderful to see some of my stories and poems published over the years. It's true that we want to be read--and hopefully (yes, I admit it) to earn some income as well!
    Ann Carbine Best, Long Journey Home

  6. I love that word...I write because I have something to say that I think will benefit others; maybe it will make them smile, or perhaps say, 'yeah, me too!' or maybe I can lighten a load or free a heart...
    great post!

  7. It's always a tough choice esp. if you aren't working in order to write. Most writers don't find success until about 10 years in though. Of course, there are plenty of people that do, but they are fewer and farther between.


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