I have multiple “books” in the works. They range anywhere from a measly 200 words to 17,000 words, not to mention all the ideas in my “idea book.” Some of these I know I am going to keep working on. Others, well, they may have already been placed into the trash bin and retrieved once or twice. I never really had the heart to “empty” the trash bin with them in there and now I am glad I didn’t.
A new story idea seeped into my head and would not leave me alone. It was like when it’s 20 minutes to 5 pm, and my dogs stare at me until I get off my butt and feed them their dinner. So I give in, and banging away at the keyboard, I realize that a portion of one of my old stories will fit perfectly into this new story. I open the file, and there it is, a little pearl just waiting to fit seamlessly into this new creation.
So lesson learned…nothing I write is ever a waste.
Even though I wasn’t able to move forward with some of the stories after a certain point, it doesn’t mean I wrote them for nothing and wasted my time. These words sit and ferment in some file (pile) until I use them in something new and better.
Like on Fraggle Rock, how Madame Trash Heap had so much good advice to give out, I am my own Madame Heap. I call it my Compost File.
That’s what it is to me, Creative Compost
(Awww, isn’t that ridiculous? The image of the beautiful garden growing from the former coffee grounds, lettuce that was forgotten in the crisper, and egg shells. But that’s how it feels)
When I was about 14, I was shoveling horse poop in the barn and a wasp stung my inner thigh. It hurt like a bleeping bleeper! I still have the ugly, raised, and ghostly white scar. Even now, (many) years later, I transform into an Olympic sprinter when I see one.
I received nothing but rejection (mostly in the form of crickets chirping) on my first novel. Now, as I wait for the rejections to start rolling in on my second, I wonder if they will sting as much as they did the first time around, maybe more.
But this is what I do know. I’m not going to quit. I’m going to keep on trying. I have a lot more courage than I thought I did. I keep putting myself out there knowing that I may be dismissed over and over again. I keep heading back into that barn knowing that those hornets are going to sting me. But the sting of a hornet won’t kill me and neither will the sting of rejection.
This is what I want. This is who I am. Maybe a reject, but definitely a writer.
Keeping my chin up, having a stiff upper lip, and growing a thick skin…yeah, that’s not going to happen. Best to admit it, I think.
While I don’t necessarily feel the need to whine, complain, and bash myself over this hard, hard, super hard process of write/edit/query/rejection (mostly the query/rejection portion)…I also don’t feel the need to pretend I’m tough and that it doesn’t get to me, that I don’t want to give up. Quit.
I am a sensitive girl, always have been. I have always cried at movies and TV shows (agh, the end of E.T. or the Green Mile and that particular episode of Highway to Heaven with the homeless boy living in a box with his cat) Happy endings, sad endings, doesn’t matter…a river of tears will flow. Books also make me cry (The One and Only Ivan had me doing a very ugly cry, complete with gasping. This was partly because it is a beautiful and sad story and partly because it was similar to a book I had been writing and my book seemed too similar to this one to continue with. Mine was about a space chimp. When I stopped writing it, I felt like he died).
Kisses in movies always make me “woooooooooooooh!” gush out loud. Funny, ah, I love funny things and people beyond belief! I don’t know if I love anything more than getting hysterical with someone.
And really happy moments make me squeal like a pig! I just can’t contain it.
Yes, I am a person of tears and pig squeals! My heart, I wear it right there on my sleeve. I’m not a person with a poker face or with a stiff upper lip. If I’m mad, there is a pretty good chance my brows will betray my feelings.
I will be super embarrassed if my work is never deemed good enough. I almost didn’t share this journey (journey, I hate that word, but I can’t think of a better one at the moment) because it is hard and embarrassing. I am sure I am going to shed some tears. Of course, I will, this is hard on the heart. But, I am going to keep writing. I am going to keep on editing. I am going to keep on visiting the Grammar Girl to try and relearn everything I forgot since school. I am going to keep querying. I am going to keep on getting rejected. I am going to feel free to share my failure and my success. It is not going to be my little secret.
I am going to keep trying. When I need to cry, I’m gonna. When I need a hug, I’m going to ask for it. And hopefully, the day will come when I will squeal like a pig.