28 June 2011

Being true to Oneself

Aaniin.  Greetings all.  Up til today, I had dreams of writing and publishing a book.  I do have several drafts that are in various stages of editing.  All are in the fantasy genre and two or three in nonfiction-biography and history.  My dreams aren't dreams any longer.  I have written 12 books.  Now, I just need to get them published and I have plans for that.

Ever since high school, I've thought about writing.  I wrote poems and gave them to people.  Once, I was writing a poem.  One girl asked me what I was doing.  "Revising my poem."  "A true artist doesn't have to revise."  "Yes you do have to revise."  "The words will just automatically be there.  You shouldn't have to revise."  

Yep, you guessed it.  My self confidence took a nose dive and I quit writing.  Only once did I write a poem that didn't need revision.  This happened shortly before the aforementioned conversation.  Remembering this incident lent weight to her words.

Being true to oneself is another thing I heard while growing up.  I certainly wasn't true to myself that day.  Listening to others is a two edged sword {pen in this instance} that has lasting effects on me.  One effect of this piece of advice is that I do a lot of revising in my head now.  I visualize paragraphs, reactions, pictures of what I want to create.  Getting the words to match the picture I see is what makes the process of writing an adventure.  

Another effect is one I find harder to put aside.  The hesitation just before I show my work to someone.  I hear the tone in her voice which is so easy to project to someone else.  I'm grateful for it.  It has made my writing better in the long run.  

My son and I decided we'd see who got a book published first.  That was 8 years ago.  Neither one of us has published so far.  We're still working on it.  The path to that published book has taken each of us in different directions.  I've learned a few things from him.  His words, his voice are replacing the other in my heart.  

I think about my son's reaction when I gave him the first couple chapters of my first book.  He read it, handed it back to me without any notations whatsoever.  "I don't want to do this."  "Why?"  "I want to wait until the book is finished."  

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