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and furthermore …

Forgive me if I mull over that rejection again. I was awake in the night – well, in fact, I’m awake most nights, this is the time of my January insomnia. I’m never a great sleeper, but for some reason every January, it’s much worse – awake at 3 or 4 a.m. for hours. Is it the lack of light? The new year looming? No idea.

I was thinking about what I’d just written here. In some posts, I’m trying to show non-writers and students who come to my blog the life of a writer. We’re very lucky in many ways; I spend a lot of time in my pyjamas, for example, as I am right now. But the isolation is also one of the hardest things about my chosen profession. We work alone, sometimes for years, with no idea if what we’re working on will appeal to others. A yes from a publisher is in invitation inside, into the warm bright room of acceptance, a acknowledgement that yes, all that solitary effort has been recognized. It’s being heard. Being seen.

I know from my own experience and from writer friends that even being published can be a major disappointment, however. We have dreams for our books that most often are not realized. But still, on we go. And we do have the image of J. K. Rowling hanging above our heads – a single mother who worked alone for a long time, spending a grant on babysitting so she could have time to write a novel about a boy wizard, a novel that was rejected many times before it found a publisher. How disheartened she must have been at first. What lunatics we writers be. And yet for her, things panned out rather well.

I say in class – we write for ourselves, because we need to tell our stories. So even if our work never makes it out into the world, we’ve still done what we needed to do.

And now, to get washed and dressed and to my desk. Because – lunatic writer.

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2 Responses to “and furthermore …”

  1. theresa says:

    I'm sorry to read about the state of your mss., Beth. I completely agree with you that we are so lucky in many ways, as writers, to work at home, to do what we love. The next step is often so fraught, though. I send you warm wishes from the coast, where we are blanketed in snow.

  2. beth says:

    No snow here, Theresa, in fact very mild, but snow on the way. Thank you for coming along on my creative journey – as I'm happy to go along on yours, shouting encouragement along the way.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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