Gedian Waegn: Indie Authors Know ALL About This

by Peggy on May 16, 2017

Oct Nov Dec 2012 021

Gedian Waegn: Indie Authors Know All about This

Gedian Waegn is an Old English word, which roughly translated means “to have faced adversity and not only survive, but thrive.” Based on the thousands of independent authors I have met, Gedian Waegn is the mantra that most applies.

This week I attended a writing workshop. There were eight of us there. Many of the attendees had been taking classes for years. Several had earned MFAs and some had published a few essays. All were waiting. Waiting for the next class, waiting to finish their degree, waiting to send out queries, waiting to complete the first draft. Waiting. It seems to me that we can all find a reason to wait if we choose to. Waiting will not dissolve the obstacle that is holding you back. There is only one thing that can do that—taking action.

Stumbling blocks are standard equipment when it comes to fulfilling ones dreams. If you have struggled to complete a first draft, remember what Hemingway said, “all first drafts are sh_t.” If you have gone on an exhaustive search to find a competent editor who understands your genre and your reader, you have come face to face with a stumbling block. As the world of self-publishing becomes more crowded, and it is becoming more crowded, (According to there are over 2 million books published each year.) you may sometimes feel like quitting … giving in and giving up. Don’t do it. As my grandmother used to say so often, “never quit tryin’ and never try quitin’.”

Perhaps you received a sample edit and think, “My book can’t need that much work, can it?” When you feel that way, remember that your relationship with your editor is a partnership. She or he is there to help—make you a better writer and make your book a better book. With editors, as with plumbers, trim carpenters, or contractors …. you generally get what you are willing to pay for. Remember what Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot once said when speaking to his barber. “A haircut is a partnership … you bring to it your expertise … I bring to it my hair.” And so, like the barber, your relationship with your editor, book cover designer, or book coach is a partnership. You bring to it your book and your open mind and they bring to it their expertise.

Surveys tell us that eighty percent of people, when asked if they “have a book in them,” answer “yes.” If those surveys are true, and I believe that they are, there are reams of books out there … unwritten. There is nothing sadder than a story not told or a memoir never read or a mystery never unraveled because the book was never written. My house is near Cave Hill Cemetery. From my second floor window I can look beyond the brick wall with its ancient capstones and see the beautiful grave markers. How many books reside there? Too many.

If you are feeling like giving up, don’t. If you want to throw up your hands and quit, don’t. If you have been working on a book for ten years or thirty and still have not finished, get some help. Talk to someone. Hire a professional to help you.

Perhaps you are thinking, “next year I’ll be seventy, (or fifty, or sixty) … it’s too late. I’m too old.” Nonsense. Guess what … next year you will STILL be fifty, or sixty or eighty! Why not meet that milestone as a published author. I encourage you to keep on keeping on, to not give up in the face of adversity and to finish what you started. Write the best book you can, produce the best book possible, and then be willing to stand behind it and do what needs to be done to share it with the world.

For all of you who are “in the midst,” I wish you Gedian Waegn.

Peggy DeKay,  Speaker, Author, Book Coach

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