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Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Write? Here Was My Answer

Came across this from 2005 when I was really, really down. Sort of a "buck up" message to myself that what I was doing with words was important to myself. And necessary.

Writing, oddly, fills me with confidence. Trying to get published floods me with self-doubt. I stopped trying to get published many years ago and just concentrated on writing--developing what was in me, making sure I had my voice, not a formula voice; making sure that each novel, each story, was unique to itself, was its own world; and knowing the book was finally finished when I found myself emotionally satisfied with its final sentence.

Then I started sharing my work with others: People who went to bars, people who played pool, people who worked in hospitals. The emotional connection was there for them. After reading one of my novels, a man in his 50's confessed to me he had been molested as a boy by his uncle. Two women told me they actually cried at the denouement of another work. High praise. None could compare my work to anything else they had ever read.

I have a 10,000 word short story that probably never will find a home simply because of its length, and yet those who read it find it remarkable. I am at work on a highly unusual piece that fits no genre and thus, is unmarketable. My novels sound silly when forced into a synopsis. My beginnings are not jarring enough to make them stand out from other beginnings. And yet I believe a good sentence contains a rhythm that connects to the heart more than to the brain. There is harshness in my work, but tenderness; brutality, but compassion. I have no idea how to market those qualities. I have come to loath the very word "market," and how can I do something I loath?

I write because only when I'm involved in a "project" am I fully myself, only then do the many aspects of myself come together in my word-created world.

I fear I may never be published because I simply will give up trying. It leads to despair. That, too, I turn into the soil of myself from which will come the next "project." I re-read Frost's "Build Soil" and await the budding of my next work.

Now I've published many of the works mentioned above.

1 comment:

  1. My keywords as a writer have always been 'patience and perseverance' even though it's easy to say and harder to practice. You show here that it does pay off. Good post.