Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Little Too Good, a Little Too Bad

Hello friends! Pull up a grownup lemonade and chat with me here on my digital front porch! I've installed misters and rocking chairs due to the hot weather. Comfortable? Good! I know it's been a couple months, but its been a couple months of painful growing, and changes. Changing is not what humans are very good at naturally (at least most of us), and I'm no exception. I haven't written any of my stories in nearly two months. I start some, something happens, it dies, it starts up again, something get the point. But I wanted to talk about writing not my stop-and-go personal life.

I don't know about all of you, but I've been a writer since I learned how to put a pencil to paper. And when my mom took those away as punishment for stealing cookies I followed her around and recited my stories out loud to her. Needless to say I got my paper and pencils back really fast! I wrote poetry about an old woman slowly dying at the age of 12 and won poetry awards in High School, impressed my English Teacher from England, and had my work used as examples for the rest of my High Schools life.

I had fan fiction (that's right, you heard me!) that was so popular I was named one the top "pulls" to websites and was approached by web owners asking if I would  pretty-please allow them to have my stories on their sites for more popularity (To be fair, I was really shocked when this happened--I hadn't realized I was popular! I figured the internet was so vast that getting 30 or more e-mails a day from fans was normal if not underwhelming) .I wrote plays in college that got the approval of even my picky professor. I swear I have a reason for all this bragging! And it's this:

I follow several people's blogs about writing, and how to be a better writer. You can always learn, especially from people like Kristin Lamb. I love her! She's so insightful and raw and willing to put it out there about her life and struggles! And she offers invaluable advice!......when you're a beginner or intermediate beginner. But I'm....more than that. I found myself reading her blogs and tapping my fingers impatiently. I know this stuff. Both her and several other popular bloggers talk about writing as if you're just picking up the pen, or assuming that perhaps you've dabbled here and there. And tat's great if you'r a beginner--seriously read her work, you'll find yourself saying "omg its ME!"

 And me? I'm stuck in the middle. Too good for beginners stuff (I just about hurl myself out a window because I learned most of this or made these mistakes as a young teenager, and the internet kindly smacked it out of me QUICKLY) but apparently juuuuuust under the bar of being an "IT" writer than gets snatched up like a fish getting plucked from the river by an eagle. So it's with growing frustration that I type this to you.

I'm good. I'm better than good. And no, that's not me being a braggy McBragster. That's from years of my work being compared to others and being better. I joined writers groups through Meet Up and quickly stopped going because not only was I the youngest person in the room (countless times), I was also the most experienced. At one meet up, I knew more about good writing than the person who'd created the event! When we gave our stories to each other for critiquing I kindly did so, and when I was given mine back all I got were "this is great!" and "wow!". But nothing constructive. I stopped going. I was too good at both apparently.They would hound me afterwards to keep editing their books, but honestly, the stories weren't always wonderful and no amount of editing short of MYSELF writing it, was going to fix it.

So am I the only one here in this boat? Do you find yourself being the 'best' writer among all of your aquantences or strangers? Do you read blogs and get frustrated because you read the rules and guidelines and know you're doing it right but you haven't gotten picked up yet? I know I have the talent, I know I have the stories and the know how.

Is this the calm right before the pick up? I certainly hope so, because this little fish would like to be caught by an eagle now!

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