Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Whatever it takes

As a writer, I want to spend my time writing, producing great works of literature.  I want to sit with pen and paper (or laptop) and create.  If that was all it took to be a writer then anyone could do it.  It would be a matter of sitting down and putting your thoughts down on paper.

However, the other side of the writing coin is being published.  There is no other feeling than to open up a magazine or book and see your name in print.  It is exciting and fulfilling.  It blows my mind to know that people will read this and it will last until the print is no longer there.

These two things are not in conjunction with each other.  To get published you have to be persistent, determined, and confidence.  You can’t get a rejection and give up.  Well you can but it won’t do you much good.  To write you have to be creative and sensitive. 

The dilemma comes in finding some semblance of balance between these two opposing sides.  How many times can a creative person be told – No we don’t want your work - before they start to question whether their work is good enough to be printed. 

Some days it takes just one rejection and other days it could be a million of them.  It also depends on the project.  I know some projects are so dear to my heart I have to see them in print.  I have to put them out there for the world to have.  It doesn’t matter if it is poetry, fiction, essays, or anything else.  I just have to get the story out there.  Since I’ve got this urge to have an item published, rejection doesn’t affect me as much.  I’m more willing to say – okay you don’t like it fine I’ll move on to the next publisher and the next and the next… until I find someone with the vision to publish me. 

There are days when I want nothing to do with a rejection.  I’ll get a letter or email that says thanks but no and it crushes me.  I feel like I am the worst writer and will never be successful.  These are the bad days - the days where everything in the world plots against me to dump me in a deep dark hole.

Every writer is allowed to have these days (moments) but the thing is to say – fine I’m in this hole.  While I’m down here I’m going to find the strength to write something about it – a poem, short story, essay, whatever.  Then I’m going to use my pen to carve out stairs in this hole and climb out to tackle the next project and look for a home for one more article or manuscript. 

As a writer you will fail more than you succeed.  You will be told no more than you will be told yes.  Only a small portion of your work will be published (if at all).  However, if you love to write, you will keep trying.  You will put the rejections behind you in order to keep building and learning from them.  In reality can you even stop writing?  

I know if you take away my ability to write my thoughts and stories, my head will explode.  I’m not cleaning up that mess…

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