Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Life of a Novice Writer

The life of a novice write is full of dreams. Our stories appear to us as any other best seller on the New York Times list. We can't distinguish between someone else's masterpiece from our own.

Also, admittedly we're a little impatient with the whole process of writing: the writing of the not-so-fun-stuff like the synopsis, the blurb, and the dreaded query letter. Sometimes we are downright lazy. There are so many rules to remember.

It would be easier not to have to go to any classes or critique classes. Why would we do that? After all, we've dubbed ourselves writers, right? And did I mention that our English and Lit teachers in school always gave us rave reviews on what we wrote. This should be good enough knowledge for us to know that we are exceptional in the field of writing, right?

For some reason, we seem to believe that whoever we send our manuscripts to, will worship and adore our work. Why wouldn't they? We do. Oh the treacherous life of the novice writer when receive our manuscripts back Looking as if they've been devoured by some animal. Blood stains filling up the spaces on and in between my intimate expressions of creativity. My poor beloved manuscript. How could they? If only I could throw myself into their den of ravenous wolves to be ravaged like that I would. Only to spare my beloved imagination of those horrid blood stains that come back to me.

If that's not bad enough, we have to put up with our own insecurities and doubts about our own writing. Deep down inside we each have this little whiny, annoying voice in our heads. It races around the same racetrack, telling us "that was a dumb thing to write", "you'll never get published" or "you can't do this, what are you possibly thinking . You are no King or Gresham". Once the racetrack stops, the choir begins. It sings about our doom and gloom as writers.

As a novice writer, I have to do my best to keep the editorial wolves at bay. How do I do this? Dah?

We need to make a promise to ourselves and keep it. Better yet, make a vow to your beloved. You wouldn't go a day without spending quality time with your spouse would you?

Vow to ignore the creepy little voices in your head. Vow to take whatever classes you need to improve your skills. Vow to use your spellcheck. Vow to write everyday even if it starts out gibberish-like. Vow not to be insulted by a publishing company when you get rejected. Vow to keep plugging along. Vow to learn from your mistakes. Vow to join a local critique group.

Last, stay true to your vow like you would your spouse. Cheating is not allowed.