Sunday, December 23, 2007

Courage

I think I have figured out why I ignore this blog. I have only so much courage to publish and that must be spent on my column. I am loath to send any of the 8 or so novels I have written since the last one was published in 1994. I would never have published at all if the publishers hadn’t asked me for manuscripts. This sounds ridiculous, I know, because writers generally have such trouble getting a manuscript published. This didn’t have anything to do with the quality of my writing – it had to do with weird circumstances. I have been writing a column a week for nearly a year and yet every time I file the current one, I have a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach. I seem to have bequeathed this strange trait to my children. Why do I write then, you might ask. I write because it is what makes me happy. But why accept such assignments as my column? I do it because I can’t bear to be a coward. What do I fear? I fear offending someone. I have only written one negative review in my life and that caused me much anguish. I don’t agree to write reviews unless I first look at the book and see that I can say some positive things about it. The one negative review came about because I hadn’t seen the book first, just been told about it. I fear saying something dumb. And yet the few bad reviews my novels have received haven’t really bothered me much.

3 comments:

zhoen said...

I am stumped and terrified at taking the first step toward being published. I want to be the literary Lana Turner, an editor reading my book on my laptop as I sit at a counter...
I do miss you here, but none of us can do everything.

Merry Christmas, dear friend.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am scared to have others read my work. I fear the pity accolades (ex. "I love your book. It's soooo great!" - when really they think it's boring or ridiculous). It is my New Year's resolution to get past this and produce the piece of writing that has been purculating for the past few years. To hell with the critics in my mind!
I hope you are well. Had a wonderful weekend with K and W.

take care

H

Jo said...

First off, it is such a pleasure to "meet" a writer who is so far along this path we writers take, and second, you've mirrored my own feelings regarding publication, perfectly! I've just recently jumped off the ravine of my own fears and requested publication with one of my short stories. Oh what an exciting time!
Cheers!
- Josephine