Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Uh...where am I?

You may be wondering this, too.  I don't mean about me, maybe more about you.  If you write, you wonder why it is so dang hard to get your name out there.  You wonder why people aren't knocking down your door instead of sending you an email that starts with, "Thank you for submitting your work for our consideration..."

It isn't that you (or I) suck.  No, it really isn't.  We are writers.  We put our hearts into creating something that we feel is good enough to share with others. We through our souls out, bared and naked, for others to pass judgement over.  We don't give up.  No, we don't.  We want to.  Hell yes we do.  But we don't.  And because of that, you and I are already a success.

How? Determination.  You haven't quit yet and that means you have determination.  No matter the misery, you have such a strong passion for the words you type that you will do it over and over and over again.  You will force yourself to sit down, open your laptop (or grab pen and notebook if you're old school) and let the words flow.  Sometimes they're crap.  Yep, we've all been there.  That isn't the point though.  At some point, the crap fades away and the real words come out.  Then you build on them.  You create and tweak and form something that excites you or makes you laugh or cry.  You connect to those words and inflate them into something living and breathing like a balloon animal.

Sometimes we don't believe in ourselves and our abilities.  Sometimes we need a friend, teacher or co-worker to step up and say this:

You are good.

I'm saying it to you now.  Please believe that you are.  Do you know how I know? Go back and read paragraph three. And another thing about writers: you can't give up.  If you do, some part of you will always feel undone.  I feel an ache if I wait too long to write (thankfully going to school full time to finish my teaching certification does not allow me to go too long without writing!).  Don't ignore it.  Find five minutes to pen out your thoughts.  You'll feel better.

Now to the problem of getting your work published.  I don't have an absolute answer.  I've been struggling since I was a teenager (and I'm not going to tell you how long that has been because I will then be depressed!).  I've had one short story published (as an adult) and several non-fiction news stories and articles published.  That part isn't hard.  If you have a strong voice, you can always go through Yahoo! Voices or a similar news site and write to your heart's content.  My difficulty is in my fiction.

So, after some encouragement from friends and a teacher at my university, I am going to self-publish through Amazon.  Yep.  I'm going to take the plunge.  First, I'm going to spend the holiday leave from school editing the crap out of my two complete novels.  After that, I'm going to choose one and throw it to the wolves.  I may not end up being a raging success, but at least I will be read.  To me, that is the big thing.  I need to share the stories inside me with the hope that someone, somewhere will enjoy them and want more. We'll see.


  1. These are the exact words every writer and author, published and aspiring, needs to hear every so often. Thank you for this. I'm going to ste... I mean borrow some of it to present to my writing class (with proper attribution, of course) as a means of inspiration. Because you're absolutely right: we all need that little nudge once in a while, to let us know we're not just wasting our time, and that we CAN do this.

  2. Thanks Joe! I know I need it now and then and as artists, we are all inherently insecure. It is a common denominator that we all feel isolated about. Happy writing! You can do it!