How Bad Do You Want It?

Posted by Arkansas Cyndi | 6:35 PM | , | 13 comments »

Let’s talk crisis of faith. No, not church and God. The “I-suck-so-why-do-I-write crisis of faith. There’s no reason to assure me that everyone goes through these. And it doesn’t help to point out famous authors who still bemoan their lack of understanding as to why anyone would buy their books. Get a grip. You’re a good writer. You know it. I know it. Your readers know it.


But enough about them...Moving on to today’s topic, Is it all worth it?


When you were a teen, with all that teenage angst about new love, did you and the new love of your life have “your song”...that one song that when it came on the radio made you stop and dreamily think about him or her? Sort of a theme song for your romance? I know I was always a sucker for “our theme song”, whatever it was with whoever it was. Funny, but now, I can only remember one “our song” for one high school honey.


By now you’re probably wondering if I’ve forgotten my meds and what does my crisis of faith about writing have to do with songs? Rest assured (Shayla) that I’ve taken my meds and my mind is a “sharp” as ever. But lately I’ve been asking myself if it’s all worth it... the writing, the rejection, the stumbling as you try to put the movie running in your head into coherent and clever words on a page. The continued (seemingly) daily bombardment of bad news from the publishing industry--editors laid-off, divisions closed, fewer books published, another e-publisher out of business. Is it worth it?


As I sit here and beat myself up with self-doubts and paralyzing negativism, the same song runs through my head as though on loop. How Bad Do You Want It*.


What does it take
To reach out and touch your dreams?
Are you hungry?
Are you thirsty?
Is it a fire that burns you up inside?
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you need it?
Are you eating, sleeping, dreaming
With that one thing on your mind?
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you need it?
Cause if you want it all

You've got to lay it all out on the line


So, how bad do I want it? Need it? I can’t answer that today. But maybe you can. Tell me about you? How bad do you want it? Need it? What are you willing to do to get it? And if you’ve “made it”, was it worth it?



*How Bad Do You Want It from Tim McGraw’s album Live Like You Were Dying. Incredible album.

13 comments

  1. Judy // February 11, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

    Hey, Cindi..Just read your column and it really struck home because all of us writers do have self-doubt from time to time (or maybe most of the time)! But there's something about the drive within us that keeps us going even when we get another rejection or for some, a bad review. Either one is sometimes hard to take, yet that spirit within gets us in front of the computer thinking this time, it'll be better. That's my take on it! It's an internal thing that you have or you don't.

  2. Judy // February 11, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

    Eeek, Cyndi...Realized I misspelled your name above. Sorry about that! :)

  3. Mary Marvella // February 11, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

    WOW! I think what you wrote spoke to each of us. I must write my stories, but how important is selling? I know I don't focus enough on the selling part, and yes, rejections do add up and make it more difficult to keep sending stuff out.

    I guess I'm not very brave. Good piece, lady.

  4. Edie // February 11, 2009 at 12:28 PM  

    Awesome post! I listen to country stations. How is it I never heard this song before? I found it on YouTube and just danced to it. It's playing again. lol

    I'm going to steal your lyrics and post them on my own blog, along with the youtube video. I'll give you credit. :)

  5. Barbara Monajem // February 11, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

    I was about to say, 'No way, I never had a teen love song, I am not the least bit sentimental.' And then I remembered, GACK! My hs sweetheart and I did have a song. I forget what it was called or who sang it, but we did have one, sure enough. Seems sort of sickly-sweet now, but there you go.

    As to writing and whether it's all worth it, my answer is one I've heard from many authors, both pub'd and unpub'd -- I don't have any choice but to write. The submitting and rejecting bit is no fun at all, but the writing part is essential to my sanity (such as it is).

  6. Barbara Monajem // February 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

    I was about to say, 'No way, I never had a teen love song, I am not the least bit sentimental.' And then I remembered, GACK! My hs sweetheart and I did have a song. I forget what it was called or who sang it, but we did have one, sure enough. Seems sort of sickly-sweet now, but there you go.

    As to writing and whether it's all worth it, my answer is one I've heard from many authors, both pub'd and unpub'd -- I don't have any choice but to write. The submitting and rejecting bit is no fun at all (and even if you're pub'd you have to submit and risk rejection, so that phase is never really over with) but the writing part is essential to my sanity (such as it is).

  7. Mona Risk // February 11, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

    How true and how sad that we keep doubting ourselves. But we do. And we keep writing. I can't stop. For me writing is my new career, my hobby and my obsession. I live with my characters, cry and laugh with them, fall in love with my heroine, and even kiss the hero with her. Hu?

  8. Pamela Varnado // February 11, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

    This post is so timely for me because lately I've been asking myself how much do I want my writing dreams to come true. In all honesty I love reading more than writing, which is really scary for someone who one day hopes to see her name on the cover of a bestseller. So I plug along, hoping and praying for that one telephone call that will change my dream into a reality. So how bad do I want it? Well, enough to watch my two grandsons during the day and spend most of the night working on my story. So I want it bad. Real bad and am determine not to quit until my dreams come true. Thanks for reminding me of that fact.

  9. Arkansas Cyndi // February 11, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

    Thank you for your comments. It's had hard and bumpy road we've all chosen. I can think of no song that fits better than How Bad Do you Want It?

    Judy - EVERYONE spells my name wrong! But thanks for correcting it. :)

  10. Scarlet Pumpernickel // February 11, 2009 at 11:35 PM  

    Cyndi,
    Have you been monitoring the IM's between MM and myself? We were just discussing this the other night. I tend to beat myself up and fall into the pit of self-doubt when I finish a project. Rejection is so tough, it's easier not to send it out! How bad do I want it? Bad enough to keep trying and trying and trying. It has been a long hard road and the gold ring still dangles just out of reach!

    Scarlet-who just finished her wip and won't let it go!

  11. Mary Marvella // February 12, 2009 at 12:48 AM  

    I'll be on her like white on rice!

  12. magolla // February 12, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

    Well, crap, now you're gonna make me bitch slap you in writing along with our phone chat!
    --take that month-long sabbatical
    --read for fun, not research
    --remove all pressures to publish
    And if you really love to write, you will.
    If you really want to publish, but not do the hard work--you'll still be the best CP in the world
    . . . or take up a new occupation--I always said you would be the best freakin' agent in the whole world!
    Writing is a game, you just have to learn to bend the rules. :-)
    Margaret
    *So speaks one who has had more than her fair share of rejection!

  13. Nightingale // February 12, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

    This article resonated with me as I've been wondering if it is worth it, escpecially with Hilary Sares leaving Kensington, but your song struck home as well. Thanks Cyndi! Though I'm not quite sure if it is worth it, I know I want it.