Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Friday, December 27, 2013

fueling up for 2014

As writers and artists, we draft submission matrixes, we decipher variables, we obsess and pray, and try to remain patient and confident, all the while moving forward in our production and not letting rejection impede on our creativity. We haven’t chosen the most direct path or a straightforward line of work, and it’s dirty and can sometimes be detrimental to our egos and overall wellbeing. And it affects others, especially those who are innocent bystanders who don’t know what they are signing on to getting involved with us.

This is about as melodramatic as I get, but I apologize now to those who are hoping I will become more sensible as the years go on. The reality is: there’s no going back. The day I said “fuck it” and accepted that I would be happiest pursuing the passion I’ve had since childhood, I knew I was going to have to throw a little caution to the wind and wing it for awhile. I didn’t have it all figured out and I was still finding my voice. Hell, I didn’t even know what story to tackle first. But I felt as though I had been brimming like the boiling water beneath a pot lid—too much to hold inside any longer, willing to tell anyone who would listen.
“Just write,” was all the advice I needed. Even the false starts held a little promise. Dreams contained messages, and an interesting line that ever so often escaped a person’s lips, became the perfect fodder needed to jumpstart my eager mind. Before I knew it, I was in the thick of it and determined to make my mark.

I began by sending out short personal essays, mostly because I didn’t know what else to write about and thought I had a pretty good handle on who I was and what I believed. I also recognized that this would probably change too, because we are constantly evolving and nothing’s certain. So, I attempted to capture the moment as best I could—the reflection of what I had learned thus far and how it shaped me as an individual. And then when I received my first batch of rejections, it was hard not to take it personally. The essays were about me and therefore I was putting myself out there, and at what cost and risk? For art? To be recognized? To feel worthy?
It was brutal. I would get discouraged easily, especially witnessing the successes of others. I got more analytical. Craft became more important than “how the writing/story made me feel”. This was personal growth and my skin got a little thicker.

Then another slew of rejections, sometimes three in one week, two in one day, sometimes no response at all. I played the odds and developed a method for submitting, meanwhile devoting every morning to write and my days off to marathon sessions. I didn’t want to dwell on one piece and the accumulating rejection letters of that piece, so I’d move on to something else. And before I knew it, I had twenty five short stories, poems up the whazoo, experimental stuff, more essays than I knew what to do with, and the beginning of a new novel. I didn’t choose one style or genre, I played around to see what best expressed what I was attempting to say. I now had a stockpile of work, bits and pieces too, ready to take on anything that came my way.
I’m finally getting to see some of my work paying off. This month alone has been extremely fruitful in terms of acceptances, and I’m looking forward to what next year has in store for me. And for not one second do I regret saying “fuck it” and jumping all in.

Bring on 2014! I am ready.

If you haven’t already checked it out, my guest blog on Bill & Dave’s Cocktail Hour:

I also have another featured article up with The Good Men Project:

Thanks for reading and sharing folks!

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