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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Voracity

Recently, my husband has been having some conversations with his co-workers about my writing career. I'm never there, which sort of terrifies me. But he tells me about them.

It basically goes like this:

Me: What did you say? *panic face*

Him: That you wrote a book. And you're working on getting it published. They say how cool that is, that they wish they could do that.

Me: *snorting* I suppose it's cool. More like a lotta hard work.

Him: I told them that they just don't get you. You're voracious. They don't get it. Most people would've given up by now.

Me: *blinking* *rapidly clicking to dictionary.com to see if he's complimenting me or not*

Voracious: Have or marked by an insatiable appetite for a pursuit. (There are some other (less desirable) definitions, but this is the one I'm going with.)

And you know what? He's totally right. I am voracious. When I want something, I work and work and work to get it. I learn. I research. I go for it. All the way.

I think voracity should be a trait you add to your author characteristics. Because it's hard out there. The query trenches aren't getting any easier. You will get rejected. Over and over. You will hear things that might hurt. Will you give up?

Do you have an insatiable appetite for publication? Are you voracious?

Oh, and since it's St. Patrick's Day, I just want to wish you all the best of luck today in whatever writing pursuit you're voraciously going after!

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33 comments:

Dawn Hullender said...

Amen girl! It seems that your husband isn't the only proud man. My hubby seems to engage in lots of conversations about me as well. I shudder to think what he tells them, but voracity would be a great word to have associated with me.

I love it! I'll never give up. Even after querying every blooming agent in the world, I'll just start all over again.

P.S. You need to have a query workshop where followers send you their queries and you "enhance" them. You're the Query Ninja after all *winks*, and I want first dibs!!!!! lol.

Terri Tiffany said...

Good husband you have! Keep him!LOL
I really hope I am voracious too. I want it and am willing to do what it takes.

Brenda said...

It is a GREAT trait to have! Must add to writer persona beside thick skin I am currently cultivating in prep for query process!

Abby said...

Voracious is the perfect word. I realized the other day that most of my spirit stems from my need for validation as a writer. Perhaps I'm voraciously in need of validation of my art, which is okay and a darn good reason to keep truckin' along.

Love this post!

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

I wish I could be called voracious but instead I will go with determined.

Scott said...

Great post, great word, and my bio just increased by that one word! : )

Kay said...

ummm.... I don't think that's the word most people use for me.... :) but I think I may be stealing it now hehe Happy st. patties day!

Shelby said...

awesome post.. with voracity-nous!!

Mandy said...

My daughter has a poster in her room that reads, "Luck Follows the Persistent". You can't give up. ?You have to be hungry and go after what you want until you get it!

Great post!

Michelle said...

Honestly, we all need voracity to make it through the obstacle course of publishing. I applaud you for your voracity and I truly believe that it will pay off in the end. Keep plugging away!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, Elana, you make laugh every time. That word is so me, too. Maybe I'll print it on a t-shirt . . . right after I check out the less desirable definitions. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks guys!

And Stina, the one I'm not sure I like is "greedy." But I like the insatiable appetite for a pursuit. That about sums up publishing, right? :)

Jaxbee said...

Great post, Elana! Although I did squint a little through the first line, everso slightly concerned about how the conversation was going to go. I can feeeeelllll that certain people think I should get a 'proper' job but I shall mumble 'voracious, voracious' under my breath when the feeling comes along!

Eileen said...

Great word and post. I don't think most published authors would make it without voracity.

Olivia Carter said...

What a great word. Seriously tucking that little nugget of gold under my belt!

Lydia Kang said...

Yep. If it's a disease, I've got it.

Tere Kirkland said...

Voracity is the only thing keeping me in the game some days, lol. That's sweet that your hubby talks about you to his co-workers in such a complimentary way.

Keep it voracious!

Carolyn V. said...

It's true. I can't give up. Dang voraciousness (Is that even a word?). Thanks Elana! Happy St. Patties to you too. =)

Crystal Cook said...

Nevah, Nevah, Nevah give up!!

I love this, thanks :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Gotta love that hubs! And yes, I am voracious as well, no matter what I'm doing.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Liesl said...

I like to think of myself as voracious, but I haven't hit the real trenches yet. I haven't had to get back up after the really hard knocks. We'll see. I like to think my husband might be doing some of the bandaging.

Angie said...

Voracity pays off! (I hope.)

Stephanie Thornton said...

This is totally right! I was just thinking the other day that it's a little weird to purposefully open yourself up to scores of rejections and all this work. And it is WORK.

But I won't give up. The day I walk into Barnes & Noble and see my book on the shelves is going to be a great day.

Mary McDonald said...

Kudos to your hubby. :-) My husband cheered me up one time when I was moaning about yet another rejection. He was like, 'You wrote a book...that is already an accompishment. No one in your family has ever written a book."

I think online, we see all these other writers and think everyone and their brother has written a book, but in reality, it's not that common. Outside of the internet, I don't know anyone who has written one.

Bethany Wiggins said...

I've got voracity like it is a disease. Otherwise I'd have quit long ago.

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't know if I've been at it long enough to be considered voracious - hopefully :)

How nice to have a hubby who gets it!

Elana Johnson said...

Tere, I am so saying that from now on. "Keep it voracious, dude!" Can't you just hear me saying that.

And to all of you out there living voraciously you, I bow to you! Keep it up, guys!

Kristi said...

I think voracity and tenacity are crucial characteristics of any writer seeking publication. Also, your husband sounds wonderful!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Now that's a hubby who understands you! Is voraciousness contagious? Maybe you could breath on me. Or cough in my face? :-)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Now there's a man who's got your back and an awesome vocabulary. What a great post!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing the story. You're right. You do have to be voracious and know that if you are, someday you'll get an agent & published.

M. Dunham said...

Voracity is what separates the published and agented versus the still struggling to complete a full manuscript. It's a very accurate word for you, E. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks M. Dunham!