Finding the Words

a blog devoted to the art, craft, and frustration of writing

contests, and such March 26, 2007

Filed under: insecurities — itsy @ 11:18 pm

To date I have not entered a single contest, nor submitted anything for publication. I guess I feel that as long as I don’t get rejected, I can pretend I’m a real life, breathing writer.

Right.

Well, this year I’m determined to enter at least one contest, or submit something for publication. The problem, of course, is that I don’t write short stories. I’m gonna try, but honestly, I’ve never felt comfortable with the genre.

Nevertheless, I’ve got to try, at least. So here it is, my promise to the world.

Oh, and the more I think about Pressfield’s The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great the more I like it. Written in the first person, the book commands your attention. The Alexander Pressfield creates is entirely convincing, his voice valiant and braver than I could ever imagine being. At times, I felt like an eye on Alexander’s shoulder, watching these epics evolve. My only complaint was the intensity of the military language and descriptions – I felt I was taking Ancient Military History 101. But in reading more books on Alexander’s tactics I’ve gained a new appreciation for it, and will have to reread passages of it now that I have a clearer picture of the battles. Now, I only wish Pressfield’s Alexander hadn’t sounded like a 50-year-old veteran. Sure, people probably aged faster in those days, but Alexander was young, only 33 when he died, and I wish more of this had come through.

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paling in comparison February 27, 2007

Filed under: insecurities — itsy @ 10:55 pm

I do this to myself all the time. I read about successful authors. I berate myself for not being one of them. And then I just get depressed, and I write nothing. After talking myself out of throwing my lap top onto the ground (it’s pretty sad already – missing keys and all – but it’s all i can afford right now) I scurry off to my room, duck under the covers, and press my eyes closed, waiting for the bogey to go away.

Eventually I come around. Eventually, I remind myself of all the reasons I want to be a writer, which really have nothing to do with getting published.

The thing about fiction is that you can’t compare yourself to any one. Sure, Christopher Paonini might be 18 (19?) and already has signed deals with major movie companies, and everyone absolutely seems to adore George RR Martin, but the problem is, you can’t write like they do. You can only write like you do, and you can only do it as well as you can. It might not seem very comforting, but it is. Only you have that unique voice inside of you. It’s up to you to figure out how to get it out.

See? I feel better already.