Small Things, Big Changes

Well, another rejection on my first manuscript. In the scheme of things it’s not such a bad thing. OK so it is, but it isn’t as I’ve not even reached 50 rejections and I might not even have 25. Of course, many agents or publishers didn’t even bother to send a reply.

I may sound bitter, but honestly I’m not. It’s all part of the the parcel. For most of us anyway. When it’s something you really want it takes a struggle. I’m not sure if you’d get the same amount of satisfaction if it didn’t. And for me, I would write even if there were no possibility of financial rewards, because it may frustrate me sometimes and I might just want to throw down my pencil or terminate my word processing program, but I love doing it.

This might have always been the case, but it wasn’t something I figured out until a few years ago. You see, I always loved to write things and make up stories, but the idea of actually being a storyteller seemed like an unobtainable fantasy. Well who wouldn’t have seen it that way when you read things like “The Lord of the Rings”, “Wind in the Willows”, “The Golden Compass”, and “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” at a young age.

As I have grown, I’ve come to realize that there are many ways to be a good writer and sometimes it’s just making someone smile for a brief moment or bringing them a laugh when they feel down or, let’s face it ladies, giving someone the fantasy of a ‘perfect’ sexy man if even only for as long as it takes to get to the end of the book.

But I digress. I was talking about writing and that was supposed to segue into how I eventually overcameĀ  my hangups and began to write stories, which was supposed to evolve into a discussion of small things and big changes. I have to apologize for my rambling manner. You see, I’m a fiend at making sure things connect when it comes to plotting, but in everyday life my thought processes don’t go in a strait line, they usually look like some demented M.C. Escher roller coaster.

Anyway (clears throat), like any aspiring word smith would do, I went to university for a degree in English. Good idea, but bad idea. You see, I read a lot of classics (some of them even good), I researched different types of writing, new ways to form arguments, the proper use of a comma (although I have since forgotten that), and I wrote a lot of papers.

Yes, I enjoyed it and it was an invaluable experience, but learning the mechanics of writing and picking apart another’s words to find those precious morsels of true meaning (critiquing, especially in college is a lot of this) does not teach you how to tell a story; how to make characters come alive on a page. In fact, it took me a year or so to get out of that academic mindset before I could even consider writing a manuscript.

Alas, it didn’t go so well. I had plenty of ideas, books to use for research, a proper writing desk, scads of pencils and, of course, the requisite ratty looking notebook, but nothing worked. I could start a story, but I would get perhaps two chapters in before deciding it was utter shite and throwing it out.

Things might have continued down that well-trodden path if it had not been for one thing: a book. I was going through a bad time in my life and sunk deep in depression when I picked up a book called “The Alchemist.” For those who have never read it, it’s a wonderfully inspiring book about chasing your dreams, following the path the universe has laid out for you even if it seems impossible. If nothing else, just trying because you’ll never know unless you do.

So I tried. I forced myself to ignore that nasty, self-doubting voice that said, “what’s the point, it’s probably crap anyway.” If I felt like a chapter or a paragraph wasn’t good enough, wasn’t what I wanted, I ignored it and pushed through (I could always go back and edit). It got easier. The voice didn’t go away, but if it creeps up now I just take a break, go for a walk, have a nice glass of wine, and get on with it. I’m now almost finished with my second manuscript.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that life is full of tiny, insignificant things that bring big changes.

Does that make you wonder about the possibility of parallel universes?

 

Rose Connelly

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mater
    Mar 26, 2011 @ 18:00:59

    Do not panic or let the world get to you, treat each day seperately

    Reply

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