Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I have a secret power: a positive attitude

I've been submitting stories for about four months, and the number of stories I consider submission-worthy has gone down over time, not up, even though I've written about three stories per month since april. This is because the stories I wrote at the beginning are almost all bad. When I wrote them I thought they were good, but, really, they're bad.

There's a positive to this. It means I've spent enough time wrestling with the mechanics of fiction writing to at least know if what I've written is bad. It means that my ability to detect my own clunky writing and poorly drawn characters is developing.

Of course, since I'm still figuring out how to write, it's likely that in another four months I'll look back at what I'm writing now and think it's bad, too. Until then, I'm predisposed to think that my new stories, which incorporate the knowledge I've gained from trying and failing with earlier stories, are good. I am not interested in wallowing in self-pity or crying over rejections, because my secret power is to have an extremely positive attitude. It's not the flashiest super power, but it's a valuable one. I want to keep writing because I'm convinced I can improve.

So far I've collected sixteen rejections, and written (roughly) ten bad stories. But I've also written five stories that read differently from the bad ones. Those better stories, even if they aren't good enough to sell, make me feel like I'm on the right track. That feels exciting.

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