And suddenly I’m a writer

I am so excited I can’t stand it.

Besides starting rehearsals for a holiday show I’m doing this week, besides having a great time at HorrorHound this past weekend, besides finally getting a chance to clean out my closet, I am being published, baby!

A horror story of mine is going to be released as an ebook with No Boundaries Press! I’m still a little shocked that this is actually happening, so any coherent attempt at a post is a little iffy at the moment.

Though as thrilled as I am, I’ve turned right around and kept working on an urban fantasy/YA thing that I started a few months ago. It’s not that I’m not doing a dance, but I stumbled across some advice months ago that rings very, very true for writers and for anyone involved in any sort of artistic pursuit, really. I wish I could remember the source, but I believe it was the blog or interview of a children’s writer. Anyway, basically to paraphrase the advice was that to keep from going crazy about the status one project, always have something else to turn to. That way you’ll never have to over-worry about if project A doesn’t get picked up or you’re not hearing about it fast enough, etc, because you’ve got this other thing to keep you distracted and keep you moving forward.

And really, it’s the best way to keep the blues of rejection away. To give some perspective, about two hours after I’d gotten word that I’d gotten the contract for this I got three rejection letters for other projects. I have at least twenty-five other stories out at the moment.  Because believe me, if you are going to do anything in the arts – write, act, design, build, model, draw, etc, etc, etc the one piece of advice I can give right off the bat is get used to hearing No and learn not to take it personally. It doesn’t matter how good you are, what level you’re at. At some point you’re going to hear a lot more no’s than yes’s. And yeah, it’s hard, it hurts sometimes, but it also isn’t always a reflection on you.

I’ve learned that auditioning/interviewing/submitting is kind of like dating (that other supposedly fun activity that is supposed to lead you to life fulfillment, but in the meantime can’t be taken personally or you’ll just want to jump off a cliff). Sometimes you and a client/company/whatever completely match up with your intentions and meld together as one and it’s beautiful and the stuff of hearts and violins and weird little birdies. Most of the time you can work really well together with some negotiation back and forth to form a good, solid relationship. And then there are the times you’re just stomped on without being given a reason or the times that are so bizarre and so ridiculous that the only thing they’re good for is a tell-all memoir. (Oh, believe me, I’ve had interviews and dates that fit into that latter category. The longer I live the more I feel like I’ve fallen into one of the fictional worlds I write about some days.)

For me, keeping my attention on  a few different things is how I can stay sane and not overly-invest myself emotionally in one particular project. Don’t get me wrong – every single thing I do is a piece of myself (some deeper than others), but at some point you need to be able to get some distance so you can be objective. It’s not just about doing something brilliant; you also have to do something brilliant that people are going to want.  I think sometimes I have too many things on the back burner, but it does help to have something else to turn to. Between this and a book I was doing covert research for at the con this weekend, I’m having a good ol’ time.


2 thoughts on “And suddenly I’m a writer

  1. HUGE congratulations to you on getting published, and having an impressive amount of stories out! I’m a fine art student and our teachers always stress the importance of just continuing to make work at all times, and it’s nice to see that reinforced in other disciplines.

  2. Thanks! I feel like every step is a step closer to where I want to be, so I’m really excited. And definitely. I think it’s one of the most important things I’ve found about being in any sort of creative field. A friend of mine who’s an insanely talented and pretty successful actor gave me the advice a few years ago that really what it took was to ‘just keep working.’ You’re going to learn things through that, network through that, and gain all sorts of experiences just by showing up and putting forth and effort. By continuing to create, you also create opportunities.

    – SJ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s