Writer at Work

img_0888Spring has come to Northern Michigan, and we have begun to enjoy the longer days and mostly nicer weather. The sun is returning, and the light is wonderfully warming after the cold winter.

With the coming of the light, comes another of the great warm weather traditions: Projects.

I’m not sure how it is in other states, but here in Michigan, spring also means the beginning of road construction. Once cannot drive anywhere without running into the orange cones and guys in hard hats.

We do the same thing at home. Once the snow recedes the desire to dig in the dirt increases as does the need to make repairs and changes around the home.

My Writing Shed has been quite high up on the list of unfinished projects, and we are gaining ground. The walls are paneled and painted; they only await trim. The floor isn’t in yet, but that will come later this spring.

I’ve spent some beautiful days in and out of the shed, enjoying the warmth and light. I’ve found pleasure in hanging the decorations I’d been collecting all winter.

Sitting in this clean space with pictures and other decorations on the wall is stirring the creative juices. I can feel the excitement of holding a pen and putting it to paper.

Of course, I must find a balance with the rest of the projects that are in the planning stages. We’ve been brainstorming on how to transform our yard from just grass and trees to something more fun and functional. We have lots of space to fill, and there may be a rock garden in my future.

Spending this time in my writing shed and writing has been a balm to my soul. I have needed this space and look forward to more days spent in solitude.

Here is what’s been happening:

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Life is always a work in progress, and my building reflects that. I doubt I will ever truly finish it regardless of where the construction goes. Life grows and changes too much.

Rejection: Good or Bad?

writer-605764_1280I’ve been writing nearly all of my life and have spent almost all that time want to be a published writer. Being a writer means putting your butt in a chair, getting words on a page and then actually sending them out.

Sometimes, I am slow.

I’ve somehow managed to miss that last part; submitting my work.

The task of submitting work has been that little thought in the back of my head, you know, the one that we most times ignore until it becomes a scream. Even if I find myself attempting to push the button, something often holds me back.

Excuses, excuses, excuses and fear.

Fear of what others are thinking about my writing and fear of rejection.

Each year, submitting is on my list of goals to accomplish for the year. Yep, it’s on my list this year too.

Well, I managed to push the button a few weeks ago.

I have some flash fiction pieces that are nearly ready to go out with one in particular that seemed more “done” than most. I found a possible market and I pushed the button.

And, then I realized that I wanted to change some things in my story; like the title and some language that would make things flow better.

Well, that is just great.

The market I chose was one of those that says if you submit a piece to them, it cannot be submitted elsewhere. One of the good things I found was they gave a time limit: up to 8 weeks. Waiting can be good or bad.

So, I waited for the rejection that would come. Maybe I should have been more positive in my thoughts, but I wanted the chance to work with those areas again. The story could only get better.

The rejection came a few days ago.

For the first time, rejection didn’t crush me. I didn’t feel low or have the need to bolster that part of me that struggles with rejection. Am I growing and becoming tougher? Maybe.

There is a part of me that wants my work to be accepted even with flaws. I’m waiting for an expert to see the genius of my writing and say, ‘I just know this will be well received, and you will be famous’.

Yes, I am delusional.

The truth is my story wasn’t ready to go out into the world yet. Although it is close, the piece needs some more editing. And my ego doesn’t need the lie; the truth is preferable.

I understand there are many reasons for rejections. Sometimes it may be that this piece isn’t right for a specific market, or perhaps the story or article is too similar to something else just published. Or, the work isn’t ready and needs some more attention.

As hard as rejection can be, I believe, it can be a positive thing too. Sometimes, work isn’t ready for the world to see, no matter how much we think it is finished. The words we write are so personal that it is difficult not to take rejection badly.

The truth often hurts but can be a good thing.

I am grateful that I didn’t have to wait too long for the rejection. Now I have a chance to make the changes I want to that will make this particular piece sing.

This is a good thing.

 

Writing Through the Difficult Times

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2I’ve come to the first Wednesday of February and time for another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and I wanted to share some of the thoughts I’ve had in the past month.

Writing is hard. Especially when emotions run wild and out of control. This is a surprise to me since I use writing in my work with clients and I’ve used it for healing myself.

My dream to publish hasn’t died even though my heart hurts at the moment. I’ve tried not to be too hard on myself even when I feel I should be writing.

Healing from emotional pain takes a lot of energy. There has been very little left over for anything or anyone else lately.

Creativity hasn’t disappeared. It’s just muted. I’ve had moments of brilliance. There haven’t been many but enough to keep me going.

There are few words to describe the emotions of the past four weeks. I’ve given up trying and am just moving on.

Blogging on a schedule doesn’t work when life is topsy turvy. I am working on it. Hopefully, I can get back to normal.

As usual, life is full of lessons and I am learning them at full speed. Life will go on, whether I write or not, so I will follow my dream.

I will write.