Today I Salute Dolly Parton!
I am a big fan of Dolly Parton – I admire the woman, her music, her films, but most of all, her outlook on life.
I recently read an interesting item about her 2008 album, “Backwoods Barbie.” Amazingly, this woman who is one of country music’s greatest artists of all time, could not find a major record label to release the album. Even more amazingly, the music industry seemed to be telling Parton that she was a has-been and no one was interested in her songs any more! But Dolly Parton was not to be deterred. Being an optimist at heart, and a clever entrepreneur in her own right, she created her own label and produced the album herself. It came out to rave reviews and went on to be a smash success.
I love her attitude! Here are Dolly Parton’s own words: “I wake up every day expecting things to be good. And if they’re not, then I set out about trying to get it fixed.” Wise advice not only for anyone wanting to publish a record album, but for any endeavor in life. I apply Ms Parton’s philosophy to my writing. If things aren’t going the way I hoped, then I work on fixing it!
Here are some more words of wisdom from the indefatigable Dolly, and how I apply them to my writing:
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” I won’t stick with a novel if it just isn’t working, no matter how many hours I have invested in it. Every writer knows that if his or her heart isn’t in it, then the final result will be less than acceptable. If your novel or short story isn’t working for you, put it aside and try something new.
“Storms make trees take deeper roots.” This advice pertains to rejections. Yes, even established authors get rejected. This is just part of the whole package. I always tell people, if you really cannot take rejection or criticism, then you might want to reconsider being a writer. Does that mean I don’t mind rejections? Not at all. Any criticism of my work worries me. But, remembering Dolly’s adage about storms and trees, I try to take such criticisms as a chance to grow and improve.
“If you want the rainbow, then you have to put up with the rain.” While it might seem like a breeze to write a novel (because it sure is a breeze to read one), a lot of hard work goes into every book. It’s not always pleasant or easy. I don’t know who said this, but it certainly is true: “Writing is easy, all you have to do is sit at the typewriter and wait for the drops of blood to form on your forehead.”
As I have mentioned before, I collect sayings and quotes and words of wisdom. Whenever I feel down or am stuck in my work, I browse through my vast treasure chest of inspirational sources, and get a quick pick-me-up.
Today I salute Ms. Dolly Parton!