Several years ago, someone told me something that paralyzed me for years…She said, You can’t write fiction. Period. Oh, she granted that I could write poetry and creative NON-fiction yadda yadda yadda, but she, I expect, wanted me to stop writing fiction for some reason, I dunno why…and so she told me I was NO GOOD at it. Needless to say, being as sensitive a writer as almost all writers are, I took her words to heart, and I believed her. Why? I have no idea. My first writing teacher at the University of Hartford, who had taught writing for years, told a colleague that my short story (at 60 pp)was the best he had had from any student ever. Along the way other teachers had said similar things. Even my agent for the book DIVIDED MINDS just loved the very same story that this critic decided I could never write fiction because of…
But I didn’t listen to my agent, even though she had gotten my sister and I a contract at St Martins Press and had worked at big-time publishing houses for years. She knew publishable authors, this other person was an independent editor of technical writing, …but you know what? I listened to her strictly because she had something negative to say to me, and I always believe those who want to hurt me…ALWAYS. If someone tells me something good about me, I think they are lying or trying to get something from me. But if they tell me something bad, or hurt my feelings? Well then, they must be being honest and want to help me, surely!
Where I got that crap from I dunno because this person clearly didn’t want to further my development as a writer, she only wanted to crush me. I would never have told anyone to stop writing, EVER. It kills them inside. Unless they happen to have been raised in such a way that they fight back…I was not. I simply folded and said to myself, “She told me I was no good, that I would never be able to write fiction, so I might as well give up right now.” And I did. For ten years.
Then I got an email about NaNoWriMo in my inbox and something inside told me I had to do it. National Novel Writing Month is in November of each year and you are supposed to write approximately 1700words a day (or a little less) to end up with a 50,000 word novel by the end. Of course, that is really only a novella, but the point is to say you did it in only a month. Truth to tell, I have written and never shown anyone, two novels, of 300,00o words each, one in only three weeks time. Then I rewrote it in nine months, But I felt it wasn’t good enough for public viewing so I never showed it around.
Anyhow, the point is, I can write a novel, whether good or bad who is to say, but I know I can do NaNoWriMo and I decided to take back my power from this chick who decided she had the right to tell me what I could and could not do. EFF her. No one can decide for me what I can or cannot write. If I am not “good at it” now, that is not to say I cannot get better. That was her thing. She thought no one could improve by practice! Fool!
I will deliver an installment of my novel in a few days. I already have 32 pages. I won’t dump it all on you, but I thought you might like a taste.