Friday, October 1, 2010

A New Attitude towards Writing

Just got done publicizing the excellent news about Collagist (And Dzanc Best of the Web) Editor Matt Bell and Hobart Editor Aaron Burch coming to read at the October TNY Presents Event. Unfortunately, I can't be there for the reading because I teach a night class while TNY Presents is going on, so I've temporarily handed over my emcee-duties to Kris and Scott until my semester ends.

Also of important note is Jason Jordan's story "Wolverine", which is currently up at New Yinzer Fiction. Check out his own explanatory blog post on the story here!

Today, on my "day off", I've been doing a little writing. I took part in the nth Word's six-word contest. Example #1 (based on the image at right): Preserved Delphic Oracle roams cities, paranoid. Example#2 (below):Outside Eden, Lilith offers the apple. Talk about an exercise in what I preach to my own students: brevity with precision. I don't know if I achieved that, but it was a nice warm-up for longer work today.

I just found Margaret Bashaar's post about coming to terms with making the writing life work. It is insightful, wise, and affirming--and it resonates. Especially #2, where Margaret explains that she has stopped being so concerned with becoming a "successful" writer, which is to say, "well-known" or at least "recognized". I've found that desire for career success and, by extension, affirmation for my writing has led me to dead ends. My experience with producing American Soma was a process ultimately so disheartening, so filled with wheel-spinning, unexpected monetary outlay, and negative experiences that I became extremely disillusioned. To what end was I pounding my head against the wall, exactly? (I want to be sure to add that I am extremely, extremely grateful to the fellow writers who turned my experience around. Huge thanks are due to Terry Hawkins, Jen Michalski, Jason Jordan, horror writer D.L. Russell, and Iconoclast Editor Phil Wagner, who reviewed the book and helped spread the word. I am really very grateful to them, too, because they reminded me that great, positive energy exists in the writing community. And this keeps a girl going. I, in turn, have been trying to pay it forward as much as possible. Let's keep that good energy rolling among us!

I've realized that writing is less about notoriety and much more about steady creativity and regular sharing. As Margaret Bashaar says in the post above: "I'm a poet now. Which means I write poems. Period."

I so agree. In fact, it's my mantra now: "I'm a writer now. Which means I write stories. Period."

Thanks to Margaret, too.

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