Saturday, February 8, 2014


Someone commented on how I seem to be depicting only the miseries of being a short fiction writer instead of describing the rewards that naturally flow from the effort.

I apologize for dwelling on the bad aspects of trying to write something I think as worthwhile (and, less frequently, salable.)  Yes, there are bitter disappointments - fewer now than when I was learning the craft. Back then I expected the setbacks of any beginner.  Even after I'd achieved a measure of writerly skill I began to realize that I frequently failed to communicate with the editor and/or their potential readers:  Facile writing must be paired with an interesting vision/concept if it is to be published.  Having a plot or at least an objective, as I've learned, helps a lot.

The practice of actively creating, the process of putting down the words to say something, has its own pleasures. Getting the daily allocation completed gives me a sense of accomplishment, even if the work is incomplete.

I have fifteen or sixteen drafts open at present and about thirty pieces that I think are worth publishing, despite every freaking editor in the world saying otherwise.  Each of these started with a spark of an idea, was brought to flame in an initial burst of creativity (and not a lot of forethought in some cases) and then became smothered by the weight of successive drafts before it was left to smolder on the desktop. Someday, one of these embers might be brought to flame with a breath of inspiration, which is why I occasionally play with them and, once in the while, slog along to bring it to the point where I'm not embarrassed to submit it. Until that time each one screams daily for attention and prays that I might be blessed with the talent to bring it to full flame.

Eventually, despite the procrastination, the disappointment of successive drafts, and self-doubts enough to sink a battleship, the hard work of producing a decent manuscript gets completed.  When that happens I sit back with satisfaction and bask in the wonder of having created it.

And with that feeling of accomplishment, I feel joy.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!