There will always be someone out there who won’t like it.
About six years ago, I submitted a manuscript to a publisher. It was a children’s book. I waited for nearly a year to hear back and when the email finally came through it was rejected. “Thank you for your submission however it isn’t what we are looking for.” Or something like that. I closed my laptop and felt defeated.
Little did I know then it would be the first of many writing defeats from editors and publishers and people I know. Critics are at large. It’s a subjective and judgmental field to be in. As a creative and sensitive person, it’s hard enough to sit with my own personal inner critic however add the outside folks, this can be lethal.
“You write too flowy. It isn’t long enough. It is too short. Your piece on women’s rights — is too angry. Can you change the ending to make it more positive? We need more words for your poem. We don’t accept poetry. Your prose must have 600 words. You’ll never get that published. Why would you write book? Write something simple and easy and pretty. We are currently not accepting spiritual material. You need more detail. You need less detail. Your imagery is great however it is too much; we are looking for something more newsworthy. Can you write so there’s 10 tips? Write sexy but not too sexy. Submit only about current events. This piece sounds more like it belongs in a private journal. Don’t share your problems. Share only personal reflections. Make it intimate but not too much.”
So, in a moment of quiet rebellion, here’s my writing tips, that by the way aren’t too long or too short. If there are 10 — it wasn’t intentional.
I am female so if you step on my uterus, I will tell you so.
If there’s an injustice that has an -ism- like racism, sexism, Anti-Semitism, anti-Native American, anti-LGBTQI — I will write out against it and there’s no sorry for not making it sound pretty. US history is riddled with inflated memory gaps and has glossed over (still happening), our severely vicious attacks on everyone — except namely white, males who think they are superior to everyone else.
Sometimes I write flowy because I hear music in poetry/prose and that translates into words and letters; if you can’t take it — skip it.
I may or may not write 600 words or 1, 000 or 2,000. Sometimes all I need to get my point across is two: FU.
Imagery is like air and details have this adjective feel, next to adverbs that go vroom, vroom and beep, beep. It is what it is and that’s who I am.
I share personal stories and I try to find the seeds that springs truth, however it doesn’t mean all the endings will be sweet because I know about demons; they are real.
Here’s the silver lining…
There will always be someone out there who won’t like it. What matters the most is that you (and I) don’t get discouraged that we stop. Keep writing. Keep creating. Keep doing you.