Friday, September 12, 2008

Confessions of a writer who is afraid to submit her writing elsewhere

Writing short pieces for this blog was supposed to be a warm-up for me to write longer or more eloquent pieces that I would submit to online and print journals.  Instead, I've been writing postings for this blog (usually on Fridays), for my food blog (usually on Mondays) and spending a small amount of time each week tracking down quotes for my online databank/blog of quotes on creative women. In addition, this week I spent some of my free time watching The Colbert Report (on the tiny TV in the kitchen while washing dishes), looking at YouTube political videos and being hysterical about Sarah Palin. I also did some volunteer work, some editing for money, got acupuncture, had my annual physical and finished reading "Little House on the Prairie" to my daughter.

Once my kids went back to school this month, I thought I would have no excuses for not sitting down and polishing up pieces I've intended to send out for years, and working on new pieces that have been written in my head for months. What is the hold-up here? I finally asked myself. And the answer came, loud and clear: I hate rejection—I hate to read rejection letters. I hate looking for markets for things once I've written them, and I don't like writing for intended markets (unless they are of my own making, like blogs and little magazines).

The pathetic conceit is that all my writing sitting stale in a filing cabinet is "brilliant" unless proven otherwise. I do not know how to prod myself to start up what for me is the painful process of stuffing SASEs and hopeful query letters into envelopes again and again. If I had some feel for what people wanted instead of blindly sending things out, it would help.

One thing I hope will help me get through this is that I am going to yield parts of this blog to outside experts. In a separate post, which I'll also post today, I want to send a call-out to other writers to tell me how you deal with rejection.  I hope to have similar call-outs to writers in the future, on a range of topics, at least once a month. I also hope to interview and talk with other writers on how they are able to maintain productivity and why they write in the first place. I am hoping to learn from their examples, yes. But I'm also hoping that letting other people occasionally talk through this blog will free me up a little and get me back to my other writing, especially the short story I've always wanted to finish.

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