Thursday, January 31, 2019

Am I allowed to write this?

Recently I told another writer not to self-reject. Most of us have been there, I suspect. We look at a market's guidelines or its table of contents and think, I am so underqualified to send work there. I don't want to waste their time and mine.

Sometimes it's a long shot, but a shot worth taking. I made a poetry sale last week that, if I'd listened to that voice of doubt, never would have happened. I asked myself, "But what if it's too long?" about twenty times before I finally hit send.

I'm glad I did, though. Boy, howdy!

I used to think I couldn't crochet either, yet here we are.

I had a point somewhere here. Oh, yeah: that whole self-rejecting thing also applies to writing the rough draft. I was working on a poem today and it went to a darker place than I was expecting. Like, really dark. I sat with my fingers on the keyboard for a while and argued with myself. Should I write it? Taking it in a different direction felt like it wasn't true to the poem. But if I wrote it, and sold it, people might jump to conclusions about me. Wrong conclusions. Yeesh.

In the end, I'm not sure I'll send it out. That's an argument for a different day, when I've had time to revise and think about it. For now, I'm just sitting with the half-triumphant, half-sick feeling of doing something difficult. That's a powerful sensation.

So, don't self-reject. Don't even do it when you're drafting. If it scares you, you're probably onto something good.

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