You know, I wonder sometimes if I’m crazy.

Why, you ask? Well, any number of reasons, really, most pressing of which is the fact that I am starting (or trying, anyway) to write. For a living, I mean. For tuition, really, if you want to get persnickety. I am a writer, I’ve been paid to write (I guess that makes me a writer, even if you won’t see my name on the New York Times’ Bestseller List or in the The New Yorker). Now I’m trying to continue that trend.

It’s harder than you might think.

See, you can send out your manuscripts to approximately 50,000 journals and magazines, yet get nothing but polite rejection notices. These always tell you that rejection doesn’t mean your writing isn’t bad, but it just isn’t what they’re looking for. Not that I’m questioning these decisions; hey it’s their magazine, they can publish whatever floats their collective boats. Question is, is it just not what they’re looking for, or is my writing really bad? Fact is, I think I’m pretty good (usually), but so do those self-published authors on Amazon and Lulu who just really. . .aren’t. Am I any different?

And why does this make me crazy? Let me explain it with an analogy.

Analogy: Once upon a time, just about fifty years or so after Grandpapa Brontosaurus up and died, there lived a caveman named Mr. Cro Magnon. Like all his ilk, Cro was a cave-dweller (hence the designation of ‘caveman’) and big game hunter. Well, one day Cro got tired of throwing spears at mammoth and cave bears because he wasn’t very good and it, and it was kind of boring. He remembered the orange waves lightening made when it struck trees and he thought that making that would be a better use of his talents than chucking pointy sticks at reindeer. So he walked over to the nearest tree, picked up a stone, and hurled it at the tree. After all, that was all lightening did to make the orange stuff, hit trees. In accordance with popular laws of physics, the stone did nothing but fall to the ground. Undaunted, Cro picked up another stone and threw it. Same result.

Cro is probably somewhere in France to this day, chucking stones at trees. And no, he still hasn’t discovered how to create fire. Someone should probably have pity on him and give the dude a match.

So am I Cro? I sincerely hope not, and in all honesty, I typically don’t think so. But sometimes. . .yeah, sometimes I wonder if I’m throwing rocks and expecting fire.

You know what? I kind of like Cro. I think I might write about him more in the future. Also, at some point I must tell you what happens to Taliesin after he’s found by Elphin because he’s a pretty interesting kid.

Well, that was a rambling post. If you’ve just stumbled onto this blog (welcome, first of all, and thanks for checking out my little corner of cyberspace), please know that I’m usually more rational than this. At least, I hope so.

Long days and pleasant nights from the Tale-Weaver.

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4 responses »

  1. Yeah… I think all writers have doubts from time to time, except for the really bad ones who have no idea they’re bad and think everything they write is the next Great American Novel. Writing is an up-and-down roller coaster ride sometimes… well, erm, most of the time. 😛 When you’re up on top of the world, it’s exhilarating; when you’re rushing down at a breakneck pace, it’s sort of scary; and when you’re stuck inching up the next hill…. or, heavens forbid, feel like you’re sliding backwards….. it’s just plain tiresome and frustrating.
    Thing is, it only takes one or two people to want to publish your stuff before things become a bit easier. God has just the right purpose in mind for the words you put out there. So take heart, chin up, and keep on writing no matter what anyone says.
    And, even though I am slightly biased, I think you’re a great writer. 🙂

  2. A. Setliffe says:

    This is me: writing and writing, and then suddenly BAM! I write my way into a cliff. I look up at the cliff and realize that if I want to keep writing, I will have to climb the darn thing. For heaven’s sake, don’t look down!

    Seriously, I agree with above poster that these doubts and struggles come with the territory. We just have to trust that if God wants us published, we will be published, even if posthumously 😉 One thing I do to encourage myself is I never throw away (or delete) anything I’ve written. I do this because some of it is absolutely horrible and makes my skin crawl, which, in turn, reminds me that I HAVE improved and, if I keep trying, I will continue to improve. I may not be a great writer, but I am getting better. Keep trying to publish, and for all our sakes, keep writing!
    Do you know the blog BeKindRewrite? http://bekindrewrite.net/ I have found it very helpful in making me consider my writing from new angles, which helps me to improve it.

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