Be Yourself

Lesson for the day: never try to make yourself something you aren’t.

I wrote a story at the end of March. I was pretty sure it was the best story I had ever written. Why was that? Because it was nothing like MY writing. A little bit of my humor* got through, but since I have failed to get any stories published with my normal slightly “off” humor, I tried to force this story into a completely different mold. I fought it every sentence and paragraph. It came from a dream, and the story really, REALLY wanted to be the dream, but I decided NO, I needed to write something more modern than what my subconscious gave me.

Apparently that was a bad idea. It was rejected a record twelve hours after I submitted it, albeit with good feedback for the idea and other aspects, and I wrote nothing else until the end of April.

DON’T BE ME. I’m not talking about putting away the pen (or keyboard and mouse)** – for a few days after a rejection – everyone does that occasionally. I mean DON’T try to change your writing style just because you think if you do, a certain publisher or editor or agent will suddenly like what you’ve written. You have to be yourself. I knew that before I did it, and I convinced myself I was just “tweaking” my style a bit. But I wasn’t. I was full out butchering it.

I’m still revising that story – I’m attending a two week workshop this summer and I need three stories, and thanks to my month-long “I am horrible and will never succeed at anything and where’s the ice cream?” binge, I only have that story, one I wrote last October, and the “prequel” story to my novel. I have two others partly started (ie, random bad jokes and dialogue scribbled in my notebook but nothing in the computer yet), but there’s no way I can get them done and on the site for critique in the next eleven days…


Carry on, my wayward internet.


*no judgments on whether my humor is *good* or not, you understand… it just is what it is.

**I did that for twenty-five years. Bad idea. THINK of all the horrible melodrama I could have produced*** while I was waiting for a sense of humor to develop… 😉

***if you’d read my poetry from the 90s, you’d understand.

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