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As an aspiring writer, I have collected what I feel is more than my fair share of rejections (count is now up to 48 on 8 short stories…ouch!). The rejections used to be canned, with ZERO personalization or any acknowledgement the story was even read. But as time progressed, I started to receive a hand full of rejections with a few kind words, and even some pointers on what did and didn’t work for the publisher.
While it sucks getting rejections, especially so many, I knew from my research that this is pretty typical for new writers exploring the traditional world of fiction publishing, that it’s going to take a number of rejections (which sadly, is looking like far more than 48 for me) and the value of those rejections improve before the first publishing credit is finally earned.
But things sure got interesting when one of my stories finally got noticed!
Are you stuck in a loop of writing, editing, and submitting with no end in sight? Maybe you have an agent, but he hasn’t been able to sell your stuff. Maybe you’ve published a short story in your local paper. Whatever the case, you are a writer. Obsession isn’t always the right word to describe the passion you put into your pieces, but you put pen to paper and create while somehow juggling life in the foreground.
Most of us are background writers, and that’s more than okay: that’s reality. Now we’re approaching summer, and I always find myself a little more energetic. Why, just these last two weekends I pruned my honey locusts, planted some lilacs, and finished a frame for a three-by-four-foot painting. Now I need to write. Continue reading
When I look at what I do as a writer and the emotions I go through creating my pieces, I find great comparisons to be made to my singer/song writer uncle and my graphic design teacher/painter friend. Too many writers write while ignoring the notion that they might be an artist, as though it doesn’t matter. They suffice to call it a craft. I am given a lot of crap for a slogan I bear without shame or guilt that holds true to this conversation, a slogan that demands our will to make realities manifest. “Do It Intentionally.”
If you write with the same intention that a woodworker has when making a chair for function, your writing will only be seen as an afterthought. In all its glory, it may challenge the heights of a coffee table book or a stack of magazines to give a mind “something to do.” But a woodworker can also make a throne. They can make a place for thinkers, great scientists and philosophers, to ponder stagnation, progression, regression, essentially perception of mankind’s wandering steps through reality.
Writing holds that same majesty, the difference between a jingle on the radio and a life-changing song that demands attention, action, and, mainly, thoughtfulness from the listener.
The difference is intention.
Every author creates a character they one day look at and say, “Who the hell are you?” It’s such an annoying thing to become aware of, but it’s often not as bad as the writer may think. Too many people become obsessed with following some perceived construction of new rules they must abide by if they wish to get published or become famous. The numbers, of course, show a different truth, but that’s for another time…and another writer.
We’re talking about static characters here, characters who do not develop throughout the story, so let’s start out with the concerns that I will pull randomly from no place in particular:
Photo by: DonkeyHotey
Every writer has a story. (Shocking bit of insight, no?)
This undeniable fact does not, however, mean every story will find itself written–fully or otherwise. Some stories demand to be told and leap out when given the chance. Others need to be coaxed out, often over decades, only finding completion after the author has shriveled into a dry, shallow husk.
Regardless of how they get written, the key is the stories GET WRITTEN.
Photo by: Corey Holms
Writing has a strange allure. It’s a doppelganger, a muse, a mirror, and its value fluctuates every time it’s found and rediscovered. But that’s art. We go through the roller coaster that is expression, finding that the best way to explode onto the page is by letting our sleeves run with spit and tears. It’s not always external, but there’s little to argue against who’s behind the steering at any given time pen touches paper.
And being drawn in doesn’t require being victim.