Can it be true? Am I back?

I'm currently "reading" a book called "The War of Art." I'm more than half-way through and I've had it for almost a year from a fellow track coach. She is an artist, and recommended the book. It had a lot of interesting points about those who enjoy "creating" and how "Resistance" gets in the way.

I've been fighting Resistance for a while. I've lost the "doing it for me" aspect, and realize that if it's not going to make any money, why bother doing it?

I know... What a terrible thought to have, isn't it? I can't believe I sunk that low, too. It's disgusting.

It's true, though. I know writing and trying to get published is an uphill battle for most. Few get lucky, the rest have to love writing more than life itself. I used to love writing more than life itself, and then something broke.

I don't know if I've fixed it or not, but I had a successful weekend. It's all about small steps. I didn't work on the novel, but I did pound out a new short story this afternoon. I also added more content to My Bucket of Parts. Those two things, things I haven't done in a long, long time, felt very good and I felt very successful doing them. The best part is, I felt successful without getting paid. That's a good feeling.

I did kind of give myself a "deadline" for the newest short story. A couple months ago, I resent a short story out to a couple new literary magazines looking for "experimental" fiction. I received two rejections, but the second rejection was the best kind there was: it had feedback. Usually, the rejections are like cover letters where the editors will blow smoke up your rear and say things like, "thank you so much for sending us...ummm...that, but we won't be publishing it, you TERD!"

The rejection I received from one literary magazine told me they were happy to read it, it wasn't for them at the time and how they looked forward to reading more of my work in the future. It could've been all lies, except there was a P.S. at the bottom. They said the "voice" wasn't strong enough, but the story was interesting and that they would be interested in reading something else by me.


You would read something else? I was so excited to get that, but also terrified. Right away these editors noticed some promise, but at the same time, what if I sent a second piece in and it was terrible? Not up to snuff? Crap? I could see them now:

"You mean, that was his best stuff?"

So, I had to stew, because anything that I had in my arsenal wasn't up to snuff. I mean, sure I've got a funky short story in the works, but I'm not sure where to take it based on all kinds of mixed comments from it -- so I couldn't send that one off.

It was time to write something new.

Luckily, just last week, a new story idea hit me and I was able to see that through, and I think it was rather successful.

The words have been shooting out of me this weekend, and I hope that it's the new norm, and not an exception. I just need to kick myself into gear.

Back off, Resistance!


Anonymous said…
I had a friend who worked for a literary journal. She had this rejection letter she wrote that was very sweet. It listed all of these famous authors who, at one time or anotherm were rejected continuously by publications. History is rife with them. It ended with a quote by some famous writer that was (paraphrasing), "Write because you love it, eff the haters and the money." I wish I still had it around. So what if you never get anything published ever (you will!) or never make money from it (who cares!)? When you die they will find some manuscripts in the cellar and you will be celebrated as a God of Letters. But the act of creation isn't any less special when no one sees it. You are very talented and with work comes success.

Also, I will have that editing done shortly. Tomorrow?