The other day while perusing an antique mall I came across a little wooden plaque engraved with what I thought were the words Carpe Diem. Reminded of the movie Dead Poets Society, in which the phrase carpe diem played a role, as well as one of my favorite actors Robin Williams who starred in the movie, I picked up the plaque.
Upon closer inspection I saw the words were not carpe diem, but Carpe Diet.
What a clever play on the phrase, I thought, and good advice as well, especially since I have a need to seize my own diet. I put the plaque down, but continued to think about the word carpe and its importance in our lives. The idea of seizing something has a hopeful element to it. When we seize a day or a moment or a job the chances of doing something special or having something important happen in our lives increases. The big prizes in life go to those who are willing to take a chance and seize the brass ring as they pass by it.
As writers we need to seize several things if we are to accomplish our goals. We need to–
- Seize the dream. Without a dream we have nothing to strive for. I love the song from the musical South Pacific called Happy Talk. The lyrics ask if we don’t have a dream then how are we going to make a dream come true? Good question.
- Seize the motivation. You can dream all you like, but without the motivation to make that dream a reality, it will never become more than a dream. Editors aren’t knocking our doors down. We have to knock on theirs. So do it.
- Seize the day. Find a day, or any part of a day or week or month or year, to work on making your dream come true. If you don’t write the words, no one can read them.
- Seize the prize. Before you reach the goal of publication there are many prizes you can reach for along the way such as contest wins, non-fiction sales to magazines or newspapers, invitations to blog on someone’s site, making friends with other writers who know what you are going through, discovering people who like your blogs or follow your blogs, and grabbing the prize of writing THE END! All are reasons for celebrating. So enjoy all the little accomplishments that come before your first book sale.
- Seize the success. Success can be a long time coming. While you’re waiting keep writing those books and sending out those queries. Sooner or later, if you’ve given it your all and learned your craft well, you will seize the success you’ve strived for.
So, don’t give up, and along the way, don’t forget to seize the chocolate!