Getting Serious


In my writing journey, I’ve picked out a favorite publication that I used to see my father reading when I was a kid.  In high school and college, my older sister started reading it too.  I only subscribed to it a few years ago, and it’s been my favorite magazine ever since.

I’m talking, of course, about Writer’s Digest.  Of course, if you’ve read my blog before, you already know that, as I troll their website for the weekly creative writing prompts, and recently for the Wednesday poetry prompt as well.  There are wonderful resources in it, and some very interesting articles and even a poem or short story, too.

From this magazine, I recently branched out and subscribed to another literary publication, Poets & Writers.  My first edition arrived, and I was in for a shock.

This is serious.

There are ads for places to get your MFA in Creative Writing, boasting their low residency programs.  There are articles on editors and agents, how to find beta readers, where you can get writing grants, and listings of residencies and workshops.  I leafed through it and immediately felt waaaay out of my league.  These are published authors they’re talking to (or it seems so to me), not someone like me who is still hammering away at the bare bones of what I want to transform into a novel but can’t even finish my outline.

So now I’ve asked myself, why not me?  What do I need to do to feel I’m “worthy” and not a poseur?

I need to get serious.  I need to spend as much time on my outline as I do on my blog, maybe more.  I keep making the excuse that I can’t have my laptop at work, which is when I do a lot of my scribblings when traffic is light.  But then I remind myself, if I can write a short story longhand, so can I write a story idea, an outline.

So it’s back to the writing board with me, to try to solve the holes in the plot and adjust the setting so it makes sense, so I can finally write the first draft of the novel that’s harassed me for years.

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