Sunday, May 08, 2011

Portrait of the Writer as a Young Lady – Part 2

I spent the years from ages sixteen to thirty writing for myself. But what had I accomplished in my writing career?

I had gone from burying my scribbled pages in plastic binders to hiding them away behind computer passwords but my audience hadn’t changed; it was still just myself and the occasional close friend.

Two years ago, I bit the bullet and enrolled in a weeklong summer writing course at a local university. For the first time in almost a decade, I put aside my genre fixation and created some ‘serious’ literary works. I submitted one to the ‘come all who can afford the course fee’ program and arrived (late) to my first day of classes. The course was mainly based on reading each other’s work and then providing feedback to one or two or three people each day. By the second day, I was engaged.

My work didn’t come up for review until the fourth day and the first person in my group to provide feedback kept saying she didn’t understand it. After that, however, it was mostly pretty positive stuff…and at the end of the class, my piece was chosen by my class to be read out to the whole writing school—a hundred plus people!

I came out of that course with an amazing writing group who has met regularly ever since, sharing our work, critiques, triumphs and rejections.

I’ve spent the last two years since that writing course piling up rejection letters and often just going by the lack of responses. And, finally, in January of last year, I received an acceptance from UK magazine wanting to publish my short story! Another acceptance and publication came earlier this year as well.

Nearly two decades of writing and two short stories published to day. Not worth it, right? Maybe I should just stick to my day job…

No way!

Fortunately, my family, friends and writing group all accept my need to write and they seem to think I’m pretty good at it. I’ve learned that it is a need. I would write even knowing beforehand that there was no avenue for publication—ever—in my future.

So why keep writing?

Because I am a writer. I have never questioned that fact.

Photo courtesy of Keattikorn at

No comments:

Post a Comment