Waiting for the waves

One of the talks I listened to at the WRWDC retreat was giving by Jane Porter and it was about how much she learned just from being in love with a surfer.  And not just because hey…surfers, that’s gotta be cool, right?

Listening to her talk, you get the feeling that Jane has had one of those careers that has had its ups and downs…and she isn’t generally the person who goes with the flow.  She jokingly talks about her German/Scotch heritage and how that makes her dig and fight change, how she’ll clench her teeth… how she’ll stay on a sinking ship until the water is up over her head.

And she fell in love and married a surfer.

She talks about how a surfer will sit out there and just wait for the waves.  The waves aren’t always there.  You can’t chase the waves down.  It doesn’t matter if you try, because waves will not come to you.  Once the waves do hit, you can chase every little wave… (ie: trend), but the good surfers know when to wait for the right wave…

Translate that to a writer’s life.  We can’t chase every little trend that comes along.  You can either keep writing the best books you know how, or look at the trends that are out there, if you want to write the books that are hot and trending like mad.  Think about what they have, then ask yourself.  What can I add that to these books/this genre that other authors aren’t doing?

Just chasing every little wave, every little trend means when the time is right for you…well, how are you going to know?

You’re going to be too exhausted, or maybe even underwater.

There was a lot more excellent little bits of wisdom in that speech, but that’s one of the gems I got.