I got blindsided by a two-week Christmas vacation. Of course, preparation took a week and recuperation took two more. But, then again, I’m well aware that “real” writers wouldn’t let mere vacations trample their enthusiasm for getting their stories down on paper.
But the truth is that I’ve been discouraged, and it’s hard to write creatively with the sword of rejection aimed at my heart. And the sword is double-edged. One side pierces my dreams of publication while the other slashes my desire to write.
Why don’t I put an end to my misery? It would be easy enough to slip into the steady rhythm of life sans writing. I found a website (http://www.greetingsisland.com) that allows one to design free greeting cards; I could spend hours in such a pursuit. Another interesting website provides quite a useful service; http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Ramble/ turns a simple word or phrase into beatnik poetry. Or I could record myself reading the thousands of picture books I have on hand for future grandchildren—never mind that my children remain unmarried and blissfully childless. Unread books, undocumented photos, unwatched movies, unpainted ceilings, unexplored websites call my name. Messy closets, dirty floors, dusty blinds cry, “Clean me, clean me!”
But maybe I should stick with what I’m good at AND what I love. I eased myself back into writing this past week by spending hours criticizing others’ work. (If I could only get paid for criticism!) Despite the fact that I’m fearless with my red pen (virtual, that is), the members of my critique group seem to appreciate my input.
And that’s what it boils down to. Being appreciated. While writing my picture books, I elicit laughter from myself. Yes, it’s true . . . I laugh and laugh and appreciate me. Yet, when I send off what I consider polished manuscripts, they get nowhere. I can only assume the agents and publishers greet my works with stone-faced disappointment, and that just makes me sad.
Appreciation, recognition, love. It’s what we all crave. And the only way it’ll come my way in the publishing world is to put my self-appreciative, silly self out there.