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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Watch This Space

Okay well the excitement over my one (and, trust me, only) venture into literary review has resulted in a brief up tick in readership. Hold on a sec...

Writing blah blah blah. Artistic angst blah blah blah. Gardening blah blah blah. Knitting blah blah blah.. Okay loyal blogfans- I think we lost 'em. If gardening doesn't scare them away knitting always will.

Now that it's just us...

I do have some things to say about writing and feedback and thin skin and probably frustration will be mentioned here once or twice.

One of the most frustrating aspects of being an unpublished writer is the sense that one is shouting into the wind (or, I suppose, writing into the wind- sometimes spitting against the wind but that's another post entirely.)

I've had feedback on my work, don't get me wrong, but the feedback has come from other unpublished writers, friends, slow moving family members, and interested acquaintances. It's like asking your computer savvy 13 year old to diagnose and treat an illness by Googling your symptoms- sure it's helpful but not exactly the same as a trip to a doctor. 

The feedback garnered from such sources has to be filtered extensively and applied carefully. So I do what I can and send things out into the ether to be judged by strangers who couldn't care less about me or the stuff I write because there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other writers (almost as good as I) waiting just behind me. I either pass or fail. I am just one of many and if I'm not super exceptional, connected or incredibly lucky, I get passed over. They don't care if I get better or not.

Note the extensive overuse of the most personal of pronouns- I -

In order to cope with the lack of useful feedback from the publishing establishment this writer tends to engage in an excess of self examination (that would be the mental sort of self examination not the physical kind- yeesh.)

 "Am I being rejected because my book sucks? Is it because my query letter (first few chapters, premise, etc.) is weak? Does the agent already represent another writer like me that I don't know about? What can I change to make my book better? Will this make it more marketable? Am I delusional? Is this what I really want to do with my life? Should I repaint the ceiling?..."

I know, I know, I can attend workshops and go to conferences and pay people to critique my stuff but that all takes money and I don't have any budget for writing. It's so frustrating. I keep forgetting to apply for grants and things like that- maybe because it makes me angry that I'm not talented enough to rise up out of the slush pile on my own- maybe I'm just a flake, who knows? 

So I need to write something good enough to sell  to attend the classes I need to improve my skill set so I can sell something.

Dang. 

Until next week blogfans.

Yours,
S.H.



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