Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Hardest Part

McGeath Freeman Rants About Writing.

As a writer I have always believed the most difficult part of writing a story, or writing anything for that matter, is getting started. Staring at a blank page or computer screen can be overwhelming for the most seasoned writers. That is why I took to just jotting down notes and thoughts on stories. I may write notes and thoughts on one story or 15. Whatever happens to be flowing that day is what I write. Then I go back and fit those notes into rough outlines for my stories. Now when I sit down to write a specific story I already have something on the page. It may still be difficult to write a good story, but getting started doesn't seem so daunting.

These days getting started doesn't seem to be the most difficult part. Finishing however... that may be. I have more unfinished stories in folders than anyone should. My story file looks like a closet full of dress shirts that haven't been worn in 10 years, only most of the stories are not out of style, yet. Why can't I finish them? I keep telling myself, "Just sit down and finish them." But I always seem to find something shiny to distract me.

Assuning I actually do finish a story the next step is sellin it. This feat takes time too. Do your research on publishers, send out letters and manuscripts and wait... and wait... and wait. Responses can take up to six months and most of the time it is a rejection. Sometimes the rejection is a simple it's not you, it's us scenario where they say your story "doesn't fit their catalog at this time." Sometimes the rejection letter is biting and says they had high hopes but "were sadly let down by the story." Other times the letter is just flat and doesn't really say anything, "Thank you for your submission." What does that mean? Do they like it or not? Can you imagine breaking up with someone like that. You say, "Thanks for going on a date with me." Then turn around and leave. That would leave anyone with questions. And just imagine, you may have to go through this 100 times or more before getting something published. Thank God dating is not that hard - usually.

Ah, writing. It's difficult getting started, finishing and making any money at it. On top of that you have to get rejected over and over. What's not to love?

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