Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week Seven and Eight in Review:
Just so I can say I'm caught up...

but I'm really not.  

At least not with my writing.
But my brain is being filled with wonderful tools to make my writing easier, more creative and more productive.

This week I read and enjoyed Merrilee's links on Fear and Perfectionism.

I most identified with Mary Anne Hahn's post:

Yes, Merrilee it is worth reading, even with the horrible red background.

"Little did I know that my perfectionism would also turn out to be the biggest roadblock to my writing dream for many years. Far from being a "wonderful" or "positive" character trait, it held me back, taunted me, scolded me, filled me with guilt, scoffed at my burning desire to be a writer. Without teachers to constantly stroke my ego and provide me with the encouragement I so needed, I floundered and procrastinated, struggled and avoided.

It took a long time for me to realize the real reason I wasn't writing. I blamed it on lack of discipline, or lack of time, or occasionally came to the conclusion that maybe I just wasn't meant to be a writer. Then I would stumble across an old story or essay I'd written, recognize the skill and talent there, recall the joy and fulfillment I'd found in the writing process, and give writing for publication another go. Yet nothing was ever perfect enough to submit" 

These are Mary Anne's words, but they quite eerily could be my own.

Of course, I also had the additional roadblock that with so many children to nurture and care for, how could I ever find the time to write?  Looking back, that was just another excuse.  I knew of others in like situation that found the time to write and to do it well enough to be published... and still mother their many children.  (Editors Note: My husband adds... Yes but how well did they mother? How did their children turn out?  Of course I can't say about their children, but I can mine... they all turned out wonderfully well, contributors to society, every one of the eight I was blessed with. And in the end, that is far better than any other work I could spend my life doing.)

♦ ♦ ♦

I must admit, I have actually been published... exactly once.  It was my second submission.  My first was denied.  To my credit, I reworked the story and resubmitted a year later, and this time, my story was accepted. (I'd include a link to my story, but I'm quite sure no one is that interested.)  I was given a check for $100.  The date was December 20, 1992.   I can still remember the thrill of seeing my story in print. I felt validated as a writer and I knew my college English professor would have been proud.

A whole lot of life has passed by since then and I have never since submitted a story for publication.  "Nothing was ever perfect enough to submit."

This course is giving me the tools I need to write again and perhaps the courage to submit another story for publication. I could use another hundred bucks.

♦ ♦ ♦

I should also mention how much I enjoyed the Guest Post for this week:

From her words I have gleaned the following:

So what do you do in drought?

Go for walks.

Absorb and don’t try to produce.

When it’s ready, the well will be full again.

I seem to be doing a lot of that lately,
part of my quest to set my Muse free.


Unknown said...

I would love a link to your story. And I'm glad the course is helping you overcome your fear of perfectionism. I hope to see you submitting your stories again soon!

Carolyn ♥ said...
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Manuela said...

I was intrigued by your name and had to stop by for a quick visit.

Thank you for your comment--I intend to return to read further as I also enjoy writing :)

Diana Studer said...

Will you at least share the title?

TerryD said...

Your adventure in learning the art of writing is a great read and I love coming back to view your posts. Also, the autumn images in The Grandmother's Garden almost make me want to leave our beautiful spring behind, almost!

Casa Mariposa said...

I so needed to hear this!! I've been working on a book idea for a while now and always have a reason for stopping instead of starting. Thanks!!! :0)

Matt Page said...

What a great idea for a blog! I identify with Mary Anne Hahn's "Fear and Perfectionism" too. I have come to realize that I need to just sit down and write. A lot of it comes out less than perfect - I count that as a success. Because I allowed myself to be less than perfect.
Good on ya!

Teresa O said...

I'm there with you! I'm a freelance writer, but that's not quite the same as fullfilling my heart's desire of writing fiction and having it published. I too would love a link to your story. I hope you'll share it.

Thank you for stopping by The Cottage on the Corner. I appreciate your lovely comments.

Life with Tyler said...

Your site is amazing! It is obvious that you are clearly in another league. My style is not too refined but it is heart felt. I'm not sure how to set up my blog for people to post their experiences with people that have Downs Syndrome without having them sent to my e-mail address. I'll call next week to get your input. I'd appreciate any other suggestions.