Saturday, May 4, 2013

Be Honest With Yourself


Thank you so much for sending your story to the our contest! Your story did not win this year, but I want to thank you for writing it, editing it, and sending to us. I'm serious. I know how much energy goes into a contest submission - it takes nerve and hope. 
There's an odd feeling that all writers experience at some point: the moment you submit something with excitement, looking forward to the results, but at the same time telling yourself to forget all about it, to be unattached to outcome. It's so hard to hold both realities in your mind at once! Meanwhile, you keep writing. 

I find it a lot easier to admit I could be a bad parent than I could be a bad writer.  Both of these things are very important to me. I don't talk about them as things I do, they are a parent of my identity. I don't parent. I am a parent. I don't write. I am a writer. But am I any good at either one?

Yes, there's some false modesty going on here with the parenting discussion. I am a good parent. I don't hit, stave, abuse, neglect or demean my children. I work hard to make their little lives as rich, as exciting, as fulfilling as possible. I try to make their dreams come true. But I also try to teach them lessons that will mean something, that will stay with them. I love them, and try to teach them how to love other people. I will never really be sure that I did a good job, but I am grateful for all they give me in return: glimpses of joy, moments of awe, memories of sorrow and of course laughter of every variety.

Is it too much to ask of this universe to be able to have the same experience with my writing? Am I being greedy in hoping that I can also give my stories life? That I can nurture them, help them grow, smooth out their rough edges and recognize the unique strengths of each one, set them free into the wider world to bring laughter, to inspire, to make something of themselves?