Thought for Day 20: The Game

I am a day behind in my writing thoughts but I wrote two today to catch up.

Here’s the thought for yesterday:

Know what game you’re playing and know the rules.

This thought comes from this sermon Iyanla Vanzant preached called “Playing the Game”:

The speech is full of great metaphors about life from baseball and football.  “You have to get all the way up the field,” and “You can’t get the house and the jaguar if you’re only on first base,” etc.  The essence is, know what game you’re playing and know the rules.  If your game is to publish a novel, you have to get focused on “where you’re going in order to get there…”  A rule might be that when you’re trying to write, you can’t have Facebook open in your browser.  It might be that you have to write for two hours a day.  It might be that you have to accrue a team of allies.

You have to get educated.  You have to figure out how the game works.  When it’s time to find an agent, you have to figure out the rules to that part of the game.  Know where you are in the game.  If you’re on first base, don’t expect the celebration of a home run.

If you write science fiction, there are different rules to writing horror.  You know this.  I get a lot of complaints from my friends who write in genres that those of us (like me) who don’t write in genres take them less seriously. First of all, I do write in a genre, it’s called literary fiction, I guess.  I have trouble with that word “literary” though, because there are tons of literary romances out there. There is crossover, but our job is to figure out what game we’re playing.  I am currently writing a literary ghost story.  It has different rules than the book I thought I was going to write–a transnational epic about human trafficking.

Do know that one game is not more valuable than the other. If anyone tells you that you’re style of writing, or your genre, or your interests, is less valuable, they are talking from a POV of taste preference, not capital T Truth.

That said, do know that the games share a lot of the rules.  Don’t worry about whether or not other people think your kind of writing is valuable.  Just play the game that makes you the most excited.

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