It’s taken forever to get this post up between everything I’ve had going on and website issues. I’m hoping my musings about where I am can help some of you, or maybe you have suggestions for me. Anyway, here goes.
Last week, something happened that befuddled and bewildered me. It made me unable to think of anything I could write for this blog. It also made me stop and take stock with where I thought I was heading with this “empty nest” life of mine. And it has now thrown me into a stalemate.
What could be that major? What would make me stop pushing and living into this new life? To understand it, I would need to go back to the inciting event. (See, I do understand how to use literary terms correctly. 🙂 ) I turned in a writing piece for a contest. Now, some might think this post is a piece about rejection and stop reading here. It’s not. I understand about rejection and know that I will have many, many writing pieces rejected before I “make it.” No, this is something else, another step past rejection, which has thrown me into this stalemate.
If someone is a writer, they know or should know the steps to take when either submitting a writing piece for a contest or for the possibility of purchase by a magazine or publishing company. They follow the guidelines for what the story or writing piece should be about. (example–don’t submit a romantic story if the magazine wants science fiction stories), and they follow the guidelines on how to submit the story. (include the story in an email or attachment, type of font, etc., etc.) I did all this when I submitted my writing piece for the contest. I followed the instructions on what to write and how to submit my piece. I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t win, but I also knew I’d never win if I didn’t try.
So, I submitted the piece last week. I was very surprised to get a response back not ten minutes later saying my essay would not even be considered for the contest. I was mortified. Apparently, what I had thought was an appropriate topic meeting their specifications was, in fact, not an appropriate topic. It was political correctness at its finest.
But, that brought me to these questions. How am I ever going to know if I interpreted something correctly? Is this where the trying, trying, and more trying come into play? Is interpreting something incorrectly another form of rejection? The uncertainty is almost enough to make me want to put down my pen for good.
If that wasn’t enough, I also have to add in the question of what topics to write about. I think this is what has actually brought me to my stalemate. Do I want to focus on a particular genre or type of writing with the sole goal of getting published? Or do I want to write what’s on my heart so people can see the passion and courage behind my words? I know this question should be easy. I should write the words and stories that show my courage, passion, and heart. Author Jeff Goins posted some questions I’m also considering. “What kind of artist do I want to be? What kind of writing do I want to do? What kind of writer am I? Who am I really, and how can this work illustrate that?” These are good questions, helpful questions, and I’m working through them.
Praying for all of us as we work through the stalemates in our lives.
God bless you!