**For my most up-to-date happenings, check out my Tumblr page: sararaasch.tumblr.com.**

Friday, September 30, 2011

Everything I know, I learned in Middle School

Well, okay, not EVERYTHING. But most of the Important Things. Like hairspray is best used in moderation; velour is not a material that should be made into pants; and positive habits can be reinforced with time.

Woa. That last one was deep, no? It popped into my head today (whilst in the midst of a discussion with JR Johansson, bemoaning our existence in the publishing industry) and I thought would make a good, inspiring blog post.

I first learned this Important Thing while in the throws of eighth grade. It was a trying time in my young life; I had just transfered from public school to private, and had suffered the ridicule brought on by too much hairspray and velour pants (clearly I was a regular fashionista). One of my friends, an equally-tormented eighth grader, decided she wanted to have a crush. Because having a crush on a boy looked fun, and we were bored, and maybe it would fuel us to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD buy normal pants.

So one day my friend picked a guy in our class, a nerdy-cute awkward eighth grade boy. And from then on out, she vowed that she was in love with him.

Now, she had no interest in him at first. Barely knew his name. But as time progressed, my friend continued to feed her certainty that she was in love with him -- went out of her way to see him, giggled when he looked at her, drew hearts around his name, etc etc -- and, a few weeks later, found that she no longer had to force these reactions. She had, as much as an eighth grade girl can, fallen in love with this awkward, nerdy boy.

The moral of this story: habits can be forced. People seem to think that if they don't FEEL happy or FEEL positive, they can't be. And while I definitely do NOT condone forcing your feelings all the time, there are certain instances (like being all woe-is-me over your state of publication) where you can afford to force yourself to act happy. Because if you do it long enough (point out the good sides of things, look for silver linings, focus on the one good thing that happened instead of the five bad things), you will eventually find that you don't have to force it. Like my friend, you will one day wake up and realize you ARE, in fact, the happy person you once had to force yourself to be. Or in love with a nerdy eighth grade boy. Which would be weird. Unless you're an eighth grade girl.

For instance, I could continue bemoaning by lack-of-publication status OR I could choose to PARTY PARTY DANCE because it's Friday.

I choose to PARTY PARTY DANCE. Join me, if you will.


Renee Collins said...

Can I just say I love this post? Because I do. :)

I'm actually a huge advocate of the power of forcing yourself to think a certain way. It's an amazing thing, but we really can be in charge of our minds if we try hard enough.

For me, it all started when I forced myself to not be tired with less sleep, and therefore was able to stay up as late as I wanted writing.

And it worked. And hey, if that worked, anything can. :)


Wyman Stewart said...

BEWARE: The Subconscious!

Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart comes to mind on how the subconscious moves us at times, even against our own best interests.

Lack-of-publication is something of a test; a test to see if you will continue the necessary battles to get published. There are literally thousands, if not millions of people, waiting to read what you write. When trying to get published, you are not trying to get published only for yourself, but for those thousands and millions, who are waiting for you to introduce your work and yourself to them. If you find those thousands or millions, your duty will be to continue to look for new readers; readers come and go, so new ones must always be found, for their sake and yours.

Publishing, is like walking into a casino, expecting to win. The odds in a casino may actually be better than in publishing, but for a writer, not as rewarding. I assume writing is in your blood. Wake up every morning you can happy and grateful to be a writer. Find what you like about your writing, your characters, your ideas, etc. Yes, find the positives. Dwelling on the negatives or things beyond your control will do no good. It's like telling a great musician to stop playing to concentrate on learning to draw, because he's bad at drawing. However, always seek to write better, find better characters, better ideas, etc. Write for yourself, but write to your reader. Give them your best effort.

Stories/books are your children, let's say adopted children. You'll want and need to fight for your children; nurture them to their own success too. They're grown when they belong to the public more than to you, but return to your life for visits.

I bookmarked your blog because I found you to be funny, fascinating, and lovely (looks and personality). I'm convinced there are books inside you trying to get out and I am convinced they will find their way to publication. Why? One, is because you want to be published. The rest is because of the books/stories that must be inside you. Will publishers agree? Maybe not. Publishers have passed on many writers who went on to be discovered and are legend today.

What's in your control is to write, seek advice, improve, and submit. Everyday, find the positive reasons why you write. Believe in your writing, for that is believing in your literary children. Don't believe in or swear by the publishers; tolerate them, if you must.

YET, if you are published one day, show your respect and gratitude for the process that "discovered" you, although you've always been there to be found. It's an insane process, but your writing conquers the chaos, bringing a little sanity to the process called, publication. Call it, "The Taming of the Publisher."