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Author Topic: New Question about Assignment #8  (Read 5520 times)
Okami
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2009, 12:35:43 AM »

Don't worry, Kate. No keyboard throwing.

I made that mistake on another forum I go to and let's just say I blacklisted myself. Ouch! Embarrassed

All the same, thanks for your kind words. That helps.

Though I'm worried Jan will think I'm a brat after this.

I'm not. I know I'm not. I just hate feeling like a kid when I'm 22, know what I mean?

I may not have experiences many members here have. But darn it, I have dreams, goals, and ambitions. When I was a kid I was so fragile in some ways it's embarrassing. I want to believe these two decades taught me something, I really do.

Okami
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 12:40:06 AM by Okami » Logged
Mikki S
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2009, 02:13:46 AM »

Okami,

I am old enough to be your grandmother, and don't mind in the least saying that.  Do you know why I'm...in your words...steadfast?  Because I believe in myself.  By that, I don't mean necessarily that I believe I'm the next JK Rowling, or...for that matter...any kind of good/great writer.  I just mean...I believe in myself.

When I was 13, I became a professional singer.  The only person who believed in me at that time was my voice coach.  I learned on the stage to have faith in what I could do, and to believe in me.  When I was 19, I had a serious throat surgery that took my singing career away from me, at the time when I was on the threshhold of an operatic career.  But you know what?  I never stopped believing in myself.

You have to believe in yourself.  It doesn't matter whether you ever become a published writer or not...what matters is YOU and your faith in yourself.  If you don't have that faith, you will never be successful in anything you try.

Believe in yourself, Okami.  That is the only thing that matters.
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Okami
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2009, 02:53:33 AM »

Thanks Mikki, and I must say, your words remind me a lot of my grandmother's, and believe me, that's a compliment.

I will say that I got so fired up from your initial replies that I burst out in a fit of writing. Thank you for lighting that fire.

I do believe in myself in the way you describe.

I still don't know I'm at the place where I'd be "okay" if I didn't get published. Mostly because I'm way behind on getting my diploma or GED, going to college, even knowing what I could really do for a second career.

That's what I loved about writing. You don't have to be a super-overachieving genius with 9 PhDs and several degrees and letters after your name to be good at it.

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jfields
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2009, 07:14:09 AM »

For me the steadfastness has come because I realized I can't not write. I've done a lot of creative pursuits for money in my life -- I've sold sketches, done portraits, designed soft toys, designed a creative arts team for a ministery, painted murals, and a variety of other things. And while I did these things, I also wrote because my degree was in journalism. But I didn't think of writing as my "thing." Now, in each of these creative pursuits...I eventually stopped having fun and when they got to be a grind, I quit. I was doing really well financially in soft toy design but I quit because it just became unpleasant.

I'm not steadfast by nature. I'm flighty. But when I ran through all these other things, I was still writing. So I thought...ehhh...I'll just write. And so I did but I quickly learned that it has just as much tough spots as any other creative job. So I tried to quit. I did. I took a job working with kids and contemplated going back to school to become a teacher. And I like kids...but I found out I just plain couldn't stop writing. I could stop submitting for a while. That was easy and felt really pretty good, but I couldn't stop writing. I didn't know how. It was like breathing. I just did it because for me, I kinda had to. And if writing was my "thing" -- why was I doing other stuff? My early publication history is spotting for several years because of my on-again-off-again drive to publish.

And that's when I realized I was going to do the writing thing even if it was uncomfortable and had nasty rejections with it and was frustrating as all heck. Even if sometimes I had to do interviews or talk with editors on the phone. I was going to write anyway. I just had to decide if I was going to write like Emily Dickenson and not send anything out for my lifetime or if I was going to take the bad with the good and make it my full-time job. Hey, I was young and single, I could live on very little money...I could actually make writing my job.

So I did. And it's frustrating and sometimes it's really depressing. I mean I LOVE some of these book manuscripts that couldn't find a home...way more than I love some of the stuff that did find a home. But it's what I do and I can't be an Emily. If I'm going to write, I have to publish to feel ...complete in the cycle. To mean writing is communication and communication takes more than me. Once I recognized that writing wasn't a choice for me...it was more like an addiction....well, I just stopped finding reasons I couldn't do it and I just did it anyway.

But I do think some folks would be a lot happier as Emily...our society pushes people to publish, but writing can be a really personal joy too. It just can't work that way for ME, so that means I have to buck up and move forward. And I do think some folks -- even talented folks -- eventually drop out of writing for the same reasons I dropped out of soft toy design. The joys weren't enough to get past the tough spots, the painful spots. And you know...maybe they're right?

I had a friend with real talent who was scared to death about writing (and she was no kid either...at the time she was older than I am now). She came up with every reason under the sun to stall her in the process. She even came up with some weird ones about messages from the universe. And I tried to encourage her through them and even bully her through them because she had talent and she could succeed. But ultimately, I realized that writing was her soft-toy designs. It didn't work for her. The hard things were too hard. Now she doesn't write at all but has a successful business in professional photography and is really happy with no angsty stuff at all.

So you either push through the hard stuff and just tell the nay-saying voices to shut up, or you choose to either be an Emily and write while ignoring all the painful publication parts or you set writing aside to find your "thing." But if you're really sure writing is your "thing," then you weigh the good and the hard...and choose...Emily or publication? Either is a good solid valid road that has worked emotionally for talented writers. But if you choose publication, then you need to paint those red arrows and move forward.

Once you make the simple decision that this is it...this is my "thing" then all the other stuff just gets shoved into place as you drive relentlessly forward. Eventually it does become "all good" because you just can't make time for seeing it any other way. I know writers who don't just find the business painful, they find the WRITING painful emotionally...but still, they drive forward because they don't have a choice either. When you really find your "thing" and it clicks, there really is nothing else that works for you...so you find ways to get through the tough.
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Truth_about4ever
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2009, 09:08:41 AM »

Sorry to cut in but I have a question. My instructor was pretty pleased with my last story, and I was going to market that. For a few more opinions, I asked some of my friends here on the campus and my English professor about it. One friend loved it, and another agreed with my English professor in that the story was a bit rushed, and that it needed to show a bit more emotion. However, I am almost over the word count, and I was just wondering if magazines accepted manuscripts that were over 2,000 words.
If not, if anyone would, would he/she please read my story and see what I need to cut and make the story stronger, please?  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2009, 09:12:11 AM »

The number of magazines that take stories longer than 2000 words are very few and mostly consist of markets that take material for both ya/adult -- so places like genre science fiction magazines or genre mystery magazines. It's one of those things that hard to evaluate without seeing it and sadly I can't volunteer as I have a hefty pile of student files sitting before me as I type this.
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Truth_about4ever
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2009, 10:34:39 AM »

No problem. Thanks for your help! ....I'll see what I can work with here.

Good luck with those files! You can do this.  Smiley
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"I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
"I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given."
-emily dickinson-
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2009, 07:44:07 PM »

Thanks bjb  Smiley
Audrey
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Truth_about4ever
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2009, 08:39:33 PM »



The plan goes like this:
write the best you can at this time
pick some place
submit
write the best you can at this time
pick some place
submit
write the best you can at this time
pick some place
submit


So, really, Jan, do you end up only submit one piece of your writing but still have to turn in 3 different outlines for stories/articles?
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"I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
"I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given."
-emily dickinson-
jfields
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2009, 09:44:58 PM »

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get confusing. I had wandered off to talk about my philosophy on writing in general. For assignment 8, you'll come up with three potential ideas (can be three stories, three articles, two stories and an article, two articles and a story...your choice really). Your instructor looks at each one to see which seems most viable and asks you to complete that project. If you love two of the ideas and your instructor agrees they're both great, you might do one for Assignment 9 and one for Assignment 10 if you like.

The reason we ask you to do three is because it's rare that all three will be viable ideas ... and rare that at least one won't be a viable idea...so three gives us the best chance of getting an idea that will produce a piece as Assignment 9 that can be submitted for publication. At this point, your instructor's whole focus is on making that last hurdle, the piece that is really ready for submission. This is a tool for getting you there.
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Truth_about4ever
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« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2009, 03:35:17 AM »

No, you're just fine, Jan. It's often me who gets easily confused. So I complete the outlines and send them in, without writing the actual stories? And I can write a whole new story, if I want to, that wasn't one of my assignments?

I really hope I can get there. Ever since coming to college, my dream of becoming a writer has become impossible to see anymore.  Undecided It's hard to find time, and when I have the time, I am through writing whatever papers I need, it's hard to write my own stuff.
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"I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
"I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given."
-emily dickinson-
jfields
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SHAZAM!!
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Posts: 5565


I *am* the ghost in the machine


WWW
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2009, 07:07:11 AM »

You don't have to write the stories for the outline assignment....until your instructor picks one. Really, most of the time we don't really LIKE having a whole new story sprung on us. If you've already done work your instructor has talked about publishing options for, then it's probably fine to try something unexpected for Assignment 9. But if not, well, I would go with the one your instructor suggests. We're not trying to make students do icky stories/articles, we're just trying to get you ready to start submitting stuff. And that means writing the story based on the plan that looked workable. Though I often do make a lot of suggestions for the plans ... I make suggestions for tweaking plots or fixing organization or choosing a focus for articles so that the plan I recommend is usually a  little different from the one pitched.

Jan
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