Monday, July 02, 2012

Happy to Write


“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
Stephen King, On Writing

Every writer occasionally gets frustrated enough to throw in the towel, power off the computer, toss down the pencil...well, you get the idea.

This week I received a response from a publisher that I had queried more than a year ago.  They started off by profusely apologizing for the delay in answering.  A glitch derailed my electronic submission and they just now read my email and accompanying sample chapters. 

They went on to praise my strong writing and compelling submission.  It all sounded great until I got to the part that said my novel was not what they were currently...yada, yada, yada.  They continued to stroke me by adding they wouldn’t be surprised if another publisher had already signed me. 

Even though it was another rejection, it was among the best.  (I’ve had some really great rejections.)  Most rejections do not include stroking.  But even a rejection is better than no reply at all.

Do I sound a little down?  No, not at all.  I’m happy.   Really.  Okay, I often feel guilty about the exorbitant amount of time I spend composing words, filling pages, making up characters, and creating situations.  I think that I might be...you know...frittering my life away. 

Time is precious and I worry that it might be better spent doing something else.  I once mentioned to my daughter-in-law that maybe I should give up writing and just focus on being a housewife and grandmother.  She gave me stern look and said ‘you’d go crazy’.  She’s right.  I do need this creative outlet.

Whenever I need a little boost, I leaf through my favourite book.  A couple of years ago, a friend gifted me with Stephen King’s book, On Writing.  It is a must for every writer.  I find it extremely informative and inspirational.  I am not a fan of Stephen King’s novels but I am a huge fan of Stephen King. 

The first part of his book is an autobiography, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and the last part is, well...it’s like there are just the two of us in a room and he’s giving me the lowdown on the business of writing.  Straight up and straight out.  As he says in the Foreward, no bullshit.  King published, On Writing, over ten years ago.  Excellent book – and not just for aspiring writers. 

Where am I going with this?  Oh, yes.  Simply put, he inspires me to continue writing even when I wonder if it’s all a waste of time.  Reading his book validates my dedication. 

Stephen King says in part that writing is about enriching our life.  If our work is published and enriches the lives of others, then all the better.  He's right; I'm delighted when readers mention a short story that put a smile on their face, or debate one I’ve written that provoked thought. 

Stephen King says writing is about getting happy. 

Alrightalready, I’m happy!

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