|Yesterday, at one of the beaches I swim at. . .|
I'm not sure I agree with all of this, but for sure, I agree with some.
Writing is a hard, mostly-solitary thing.
Our friends and family members can only "just please read this one little thing" so many times before they grow weary; they can only be enthusiastic and cheer us on in spurts, for finite periods of time.
Most of us, even once published, are not rock stars.
Oprah isn't calling.
Not even NPR.
After the event, I stood at the base of those magestic steps and watched David (!!) chat with Libba (!! I mean, need I even use a last name?) and some other well-respected and prolific YA authors.
And, guess, what?
Except for the bloggers and few readers who had specifically come for the event, not a soul on those crowded steps stopped to ask for an autograph, acknowledged them, or even seemed to know who they were.
“Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his type writer or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter.” - Isaac Asimov
SO, here we are again, together, alone, on yet another Friday.
It's just us today -- no exciting guest authors, no fanfare, no gimmicks.
Just you, and me, and our words. . .
As we reach the halfway mark in our Teachers Write! program, I've watched so many of you come out of your shells, brim with excitement, step into the mix believing that maybe -- just maybe -- you have something to say, in your unique voice, that actually adds to the world-of-writing conversation.
And, guess what? Maybe you actually do!
But how to maintain the momentum?
How to keep yourself going when there are no daily facebook posts, no tweets, no constant commenting in the blogs?
How to keep going when the writing grows quiet?
Notwithstanding what Hemingway said, one way is critique groups. And, another social media. But in the end, the encouragement is fleeting, and then you are left with nothing but your belief in yourself, and your desire to tell the story, and to put together the words.
This is how it is. We all struggle with it. But we know, in the end, you can't write for the fanfare or the applause. You can't even count on being read.
In the end, you write because you must, or because you want to and love how it makes you feel.
Often, sans feedback.
Almost always, sans Oprah.
And, sans cheering fans and applause.
But, luckily . . . not today.
Today I will cheer for you.
Find that shiny gem of your words.
And, happily egg you on.
So, here we go. Friday Feedback. You KNOW the RULES.
Today, I'll strip back to basics: the opening of one of my WIP's. Does it hook you? If yes, why? If no, why not?
I look forward to reading your words.
Dad and I are walking through
As we talk, our breath puffs out in front of us like steam from the street vents.
We pass the familiar streets of the village – Broome, Spring, Prince – and head north on West Broadway. The sky turns cold and dusky, and overcast.
Sarah is with me now, snow falling. The Empire State building looms ahead, pink and surreal, in all its February glory.
Sarah twirls toward me and smiles. Snowflakes catch in her black hair, white stars that melt away.
Dad laughs at something, and Sarah takes my hand. Everything is perfect.
Except, no. That’s not right.
We’re not in
Soho, or uptown.
There is no
And Sarah and Dad are gone.
No one is here.
Just me and this woman, in this room.
I scratch my at my ear. “Try not to do that,” she says.
p.s. speaking of NOT lonely, we are gearing up for our first Teachers Write Progress Pool Party Chat & Read Aloud. If you are a participating member of Teachers Write! and want to participate, and haven't checked in, please do so HERE and FOLLOW ME and Jen Vincent on Spreecast!
p.p.s. If you have been enjoying Friday Feedback, I would love a return favor. If your local library, doesn't carry The Pull of Gravity, please ask them to order it in. If you have read it and liked it -- and reviewed it on Goodreads, especially -- please post that review on Amazon. It helps us authors more there -- some magic Amazon sales algorithm. And especially heading into this stretch prior to paperback, I could really use to keep my book moving. Thank you. <3
p.p.p.s. Speaking of my paperback, if you want to see a sneak peek at the paperback cover, suddenly, it is up there! ;)