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Attitude: The Writer’s Final Frontier

I’m honestly not sure if “Attitude: The Writer’s Final Frontier” makes sense or not. Nor am I going to speculate too much about it.

I’ve been watching original Star Trek episodes, and the opening credits monologue simply popped into my head while my fingers moved across the keyboard.

There’s no deeper meaning than that.

Or is there?

Considering exactly how much Star Trek I’ve been watching lately, the subject might very well find its way back into a future blog post. There’s certainly enough editorial fodder to go around.

Yet for this week’s focus, Star Trek will have to take a backseat to attitude.

On Tuesday, we discussed exactly what attitude was and what it could be for non-fiction and creative writers. Now for Thursday’s Challenge, here’s your five-year mission (complete with continuations that are hopefully less lame than Star Trek: Discovery reportedly is):

Determine to have a positive attitude about your writing.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not asking you to have a Pollyanna attitude or an unrealistic one. Innovative Editing is all about promoting genuine writers, not blind ones.

Genuine writers are those who are respectful of the writing craft in general and their own personal potential in particular. They’re open to the possibilities, including teachable moments, moments of discovery, points of triumph and points of no return.

The possibilities? They’re endless just as long as you keep on writing and keep on trying. Who knows, you could be the next Kate Quinn, Lauren Willig, Jim Butcher, Gillian Flynn or David Barton – respected leaders in their respective fields of historical fiction, chicklit, fantasy, thriller and historical non-fiction.

If that’s your dream, then don’t give up on it. It can happen.

Just keep in mind that there’s a difference between a positive attitude and a delusional one. Delusional writers will say they’re without a doubt going to make it big, strike it rich and buy a second house in Tuscany.

Yet genuine writers – those with positive attitudes – understand that their writing and publishing success will probably look a little different than making The New York Times Best-Sellers List. Instead, they might gain a good following and extra income by signing on board with a smaller publishing company. Or they could go it alone through a self-publishing channel and test out their marketing mettle.

Whatever it is, the destination is far from unimportant. But the journey is a big deal too. That’s one definite deeper meaning we can learn from Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. Yes, he had his faults as a person and as a writer. But I do think he did a good job in determining the original series’ opening monologue, which goes like this:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Like today’s challenge, it promotes a respectful attitude, promising to “seek out new life and new civilization.” This acknowledges that there’s more to life than what we see around us – a very important fact for every writer to grasp.

That line, coupled with the verb “explore,” also implies a willingness to learn. And the notion of boldly going “where no man has gone before” is certainly a spirit of adventure, identifying a worthwhile goal and finding the courage and curiosity to go for it.

That’s all related to inner determinations. It’s all attitude, which may or may not be the writer’s final frontier to explore.

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