The Artful Pursuit of Writing
OK, we’ve all been there at one time or another as a writer. You work hard – very hard – on a particular piece, and then you edit and fine-tune it time and again, until you finally post it for publication. Once your poem, commentary, short story, or even prelude to a novel has been published, you find yourself repeatedly checking its stats, sure that the masses will love your piece as much as you. As days – and then long weeks - go by, your stats change only minimally, so you try to convince yourself that not everyone has the same refined taste as you do when it comes to writing. Surely, however, the media format you've chosen, in all its glory and knowledge will recognize your work's outstanding attributes and bestow an accolade of recognition. So, you patiently wait, day after day, week after week, until the designated moment finally arrives, all too sure that your piece of work will be cited as a winner. Repeatedly throughout the day, you refresh the homepage until at long last, the list of winners appears. What? Wait a minute and hold the presses. There must be a ginormous mistake because your piece is completely missing from the cited winners. In abject despair and disbelief, you throw yourself on the floor and cry for at least half of an hour, completely and utterly devastated. Sure, there were thousands upon thousands of entries, but everyone you know loved your piece and assured you it would be a winner, so how the world did this happen? How did you not get it right this time? You were so sure you’d written the perfect piece.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? Have you written that perfect piece of prose and submitted it to a challenge, only to not achieve the expected, coveted prize or recognition? Have you been filled with disappointment and had your heart broken - or am I the only one? In all honesty, this scenario has happened to me on more occasions that I care to admit. Did it hurt? Without a doubt. Did it crush my desire to write? Absolutely and emphatically not. Following each and every failure to win, I have responded by picking myself up off the floor, and in true glamorous movie starlet fashion, I have remind myself that there’s always tomorrow and the possibility of more writing attempts. And thus, a new quest has begun thereafter as each day I once again go in search of new challenges with a fervent hope that the next time, I will be able to produce a much better piece - something noble and enduring. Isn’t that what writing - and life - are all about? We must not become too complacent in the rituals of our everyday existence, because in the grand scheme of things, we should always strive for the stars in order to achieve the very best in all upon which we embark.
So, yes, I've had my heart broken and my writing rejected on more than one occasion, but the truth is that these things have taught me much: perseverance, discipline, dedication, and more importantly, a desire for finer writing skills, because with every piece I write, I am able to see improvement. I suppose, theoretically speaking, I could thank the publishers for not selecting my pieces as top winners, but then again, let's not get carried away. In the thread of honesty, I will instead simply thank them instead for helping me achieve improved results each and every day:
Thank you potential publishers for teaching me much in my artful pursuit of writing (despite my often having to nurse a broken heart along the learning curve).
"I am still learning." Michelangelo