This has been the greatest writing week. Ever. Writing, by it’s very nature, is a solitary and slow life. The writer runs off to his or her working space — whether that’s an office, study, or a comatose happy stare — and fights to make thoughts become words.
This week, my writing went out into the public. It met with people. On Tuesday, I received my first-ever payment for something I’ve written, winning $150 for excerpts from my People Live Here short story collection. It was the College of Arts and Humanities at Central (where I’m working on a degree). And though it was a college prize, it still meant a great deal to me. It’s the sort of encouragement that makes a person carry on. Yes, people have said that I have some writing ability in the past, but that doesn’t mean they’d spend a dime on it. The college gave me 1,500 dimes. And, in a perverse way, I can think of it — since it is a public institution — as thousands of taxpayers giving me a fraction of their money. (Whatever it takes, right?).
I did get a rejection notice this week, but I’m used to those. This particular rejection didn’t hurt too badly and the publisher included a “I got rejected by…” sticker. Clever. And it takes away the sting, like being rejected is something to be proud of. I showed it to some other writers and they all had the same response: “Cool.” Writers.
On Thursday, I defended my Creative Project — the full-length manuscript of my short-stories. With the exception of one story, everything seemed to stand firm in the presence of some highly-skilled writers and readers. Overall, my collection is ready to go out into the world and I plan to bring copies of it to the Write to Publish conference in Oregon. What’s the worst that can happen?
Yesterday, I started the next writing project. I’m going for a novel on this turn; it’s been a while since writing one of those, and I’ve never written that much fiction for the non-YA market. Staying in fiction seemed like a good idea at the time since I’m still energized and fresh from the Creative Project. I think I have a story I can tell, though it’s already veering off onto its own. I meant it to be a really clever funny piece and it’s decided that its more “bittersweet” than hilarious. Do writers ever get to be dictators? For now, I’ll just keep a watch on the story and make sure it doesn’t turn into pure drama.