Friday, February 27, 2009


I've been trying to write for years. No money yet though. I cannot say whether I have been successful or not. It depends on how success is measured.

Some people write about stuff they really don't care about or actually have little personal knowledge about (hence research), so they can make a living at the writing trade. Others spend much more diligence on a story, rewrite, recheck, submit, get rejected, and go on writing. So, is it public acclamation or personal satisfaction that is the measure of success?

I wonder if any writer is satisfied with his work, particularly those who write stories of fiction. I remember when I first started, I thought some of my work was pretty good. Now, I look at it and realize that I had a long way to go. I look at my work now and realize I have a long way to go as well.

I have learned to tell a story and keep all the characters in character. Still, (as you can tell from my work) I do not care much for grammar check. It just seems to me that if I want to say something a certain way (in my style) why should I listen to a computer program that may or may not have been put together by a successful writer. Hence, my failure as a writer.

It seems to me that if a person does not love to write that they will probably get discouraged very early and quit. I have not yet been able to quit, so I either am a writer or too pig headed to know that I'm not.

In our day, editors and publishers are looking for a sure money maker. A rejection does not mean the work is not good, it just means they don't want it. Mark Twain is famous but I doubt he could get his work published nowadays. That goes for Edgar Allen Poe as well. I'm not in their class, just saying many people who read do not want to think while they do it, so publishers have to print what sells. Often, I think, it is nonsense with a well-known name on the cover. I must admit big names sell better than good writing. But what do I know?

Successful? Who knows. If you measure success in dollars, success may never come. If you measure success in the pleasure you get from telling a story, success may come when you finish the last chapter and your characters have become part of your life.

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