I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Why we write, submit, get pissed and cry


I told my daughter, “I’ve started querying my memoir."

“Why?”

“Because that’s how it works.”

“Why do you want to be famous? Why not write just for the sake of writing?”

And this is from the kid that came in second, (the first time), she entered a Writer’s Digest prompt contest. (I’ve been entering since Jesus made a blind man see). This is the kid that never entered that contest again. This is the kid that paints, has shown in galleries, won awards and now paints on commission.

“I don’t care about being famous,” I tell her, “but I’d like someone in traditional publishing to recognize my effort and to tell me that what I have written has merit.”

“Mom,” she says with hands on her hips and head tilted, “your op-eds, articles, essays and columns are published, isn’t that enough?”

I look at her and wonder, is it? And if it isn’t, why not?

“You’re published and paid” she says, “I repeat, isn’t that enough?"

And then ensued a conversation about the difference between two double spaced pages weekly vs. two-hundred plus over many years. The difference between daily-drama and life-long dreams, the difference between Hershey’s and Godiva, regular and high-test, Poland Spring and Dom Perignon.

I drive my own car, clean my house and cook my own food. I do my laundry, shovel my sidewalk, hell I could give birth to my own baby if I had to. I can always publish my own book but sweetie, it would be so very nice to have someone else catch, cut the cord and hand it over, nice and clean and ready for life.

I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

I write, submit, get pissed and cry because I wonder what I'd do if I did not.
My house would be cleaner, would yours?

 

4 comments:

  1. I know what you mean. I loved this part of your post, "How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement..."

    IDK. You've just started this query thing, so try not to dwell on it too hard. I know that's about as helpful as throwing a handful of sand in your eyes. Haven't you found that one minute you think positively about what you've done, and the next you think it stinks so bad even a skunk would run? That's how I feel about what I've done. I think my ending is cliched. I don't know why I couldn't come up with a twist like I did for JR's contest. I think it was because I'd written myself into a corner. And I think because I just couldn't bring myself to re-write the damn thing until I had feedback on it. I can tell from your other comments on various blogs you and I spend time on that you're feeling the pressure of this query thing. If/when you get any news, good or bad, just move on, and keep hoping. And at the end of the day, you've done this, and many do not. They talk about it - but it doesn't GET DONE. So good on us for that, right?

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    1. The actual writing of the query is really not the issue. It's that when I came up with this whole, columns/book idea I was told over and over again my platform is not big enough because I was not writing it as a memoir. (And even then it might not work).Well, I figured out how to weave life in and around the columns so it IS A MEMOIR. It was a ye haw moment for sure, like when you came up with your ending.
      I realized, after my Janet comment yesterday that all I have been doing is whining about the process. No more. It is what it us.
      After printing it out and doing hard copy edits I decided to add another section so my finished memoir is still a WIP. Do we ever really finish?
      About your twist. I think I'll email you on this.

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  2. I'm on your died with this one Carolynn! Publishing it yourself is something anyone can do for themselves it seems, so it feels special to be picked out by another.

    And no my house wouldn't be clean...I'd just find another distraction. Clean houses are overrated.

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    1. It's like standing in line in Gym class waiting to be picked for volleyball, I was always next to last. I just have to hold out 'til all the others are at the net and then it's my turn to serve.

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