So, I’m getting down to writerly business (Really. I am.), but I’ve got a few thoughts jumbling around in my head, banging to get out. And you know what they say, “There’s more room on the outside…”
*On Why I Don’t Journal
Someone asked me recently about journaling. The someone happened to be a non-writer, but writers often ask me if I journal. And the short answer is no, I don’t seem to be able to stick with journaling. I do write down funny things I’ve heard, or jot a story idea, and make endless Things To Do Lists, but that’s not the same as journaling. I write stories. I suspect that helps me work out the stuff I’d journal about, if I could stick with journaling.
*On Reading a Really Good Book (When You’re a Writer)
I’m reading Incarceron right now. Actually, I’m inhaling Incarceron. Before I started writing Young Adult fiction, I could read books and thoroughly enjoy the experience. But now, when I read a really good YA book, I want to bang my head on the desk, then throw my manuscript into the fireplace, light a match to it, and cry in despair because I will never, ever write something even close to that really good YA book. And then the Beneficent Mr. Hall finds me in a closet and asks, “What the heck is wrong with you?” I try to explain but it’s impossible to explain because of course, the man has such ridiculous faith in me until he really starts to worry and says, “Maybe you should try some other job?” Somehow, I manage to drag myself out of the closet and get back to work. But first, I read a really crappy book. (Coincidentally, I have a lot of stories where characters face their shortcomings.)
*On Looking for Mrs. (or Mr.) Agent
It’s a tough business, looking for an agent. Rejection is part of the game. And just for the record, I do not crawl into closets after every rejection (Mostly because I’d end up living in the closet.). But when I get a personal rejection, even if it’s just a reply with my NAME in it, I don’t feel so bad. And if an agent takes the time to say something nice, even if it’s just a couple words about the title, or liking the humor, I’m thrilled. It’s a crazy world when I’m fist-pumping over rejection.
So, I think I’ve got a little room in my head now to get back to writing. After I put a little ice on the banged-up part.
I have journaled on and off. I recently tripped over a journal when my son was 2 yrs., now 16 years ago, and an earlier journal, 3 yrs before he was born. They provide intresting reading.
Sally, I wish sometimes that I'd journaled in those early days. I look at pics now and I'm not even sure which kid is which!
I journal for all nine grandchildren, well seven now, since two have reached their 18th birthday. I could write a book on what the first one said.
Oh, I know the feeling of banging your head on the desk after reading a really great book! It hurts – in more ways than one – a bump on the head and a bruise on the ego. 🙂
Linda, I am SUPER impressed.Madeline, I feel your pain. And mine. 😉
No journaling for me, but mostly because I don't want anyone reading my journal (even after I'm dead) unless it is a frou-frou feel-good journal, but what's the point of that? To journal meaningfully, I think you have to be an Anne Lamott, someone who writes the truth no matter how uncomfortable or ugly it is. I'm too private a person for that, so journaling isn't in the cards for me; probably why I write fiction. The closest I come to journaling is light memoir stuff—true stuff, but on the sunny side. Sunny is good.I am also a headbanger, for all the reasons you named. I don't like myself much when I go through those "why do I bother" phases, which lately is a frequent thing. I haven't tried hiding in a closet yet, but it sounds like a pretty good idea.
About the only time I consistently journal is when I take a trip.The image of you fist pumping over a rejection brings a smile to my face.Donna
Yeah, I think I might be tempted to make my journal a little too rosy. :-)(And P.S. You bother because you're a fine writer. So stay out of the closet and save your head!)
Ha, Donna! And as an added bonus, I also get a biceps workout! 🙂
I can't seem to stick with journaling either. I used to beat myself up about it but I finally let it go. Like you, I make a lot of lists. Maybe we should call that an alternate form of journaling; we could come up with a catchy name. You never know, it could catch on and become popular! 😛
Karen, wasn't there someone who published a book that was mostly lists? I think we're on to something! 🙂
I love journaling. Can't remember how long I've been doing it because it's been so long and well… my memory isn't what it used to be. It's all in there–the good, the bad, the ugly, the stupid, the whining and I do feel that it's because of my journal that I'm not heavily medicated 🙂 But I understand where Lisa is coming from because oh my I'll probably have lots of enemies should anyone read those things. And could so relate to your head banging and hiding in the closet thing! You're funny.
Hey Lynn!You're not going to believe this, but in our paper today (the Dear Amy column), a woman wrote in, asking what to do about her journals because she wasn't sure if she wanted her children reading them after she was gone. Amy asked for people to weigh in…I'm really curious what folks will say!And I'm glad I'm not banging my head alone. Not that I'm happy you're banging YOUR head. But two head bangers is better than one!Um, there is no way I can get out of this with any dignity. 🙂
Hey Cathy. No journaling for me. Never have, probably never will. I tried it a couple of times. Even got a cute, or interesting, or something better than college ruled paper…I wrote ONE day and stopped. Whenever I de-clutter, I'll find one from a couple of years ago and laugh at what I wrote. Nope. Not a journaling gal. I'm a note jotter!
Wow; just be reading this, it is obvious to me that you and I live in similar worlds. The writing world is a unique one, and it's nice to have friends to share it with. Let's keep it up and we'll get there someday. 🙂
Oh, that Mr. Hall. Gotta love that guy. We all need someone to drag us out of the closet from time to time.My mom says she can't understand why anyone would journal. She's like Lisa – doesn't want anyone knowing her every thought and feeling. I make a feeble attempt to keep one, just try to stay semi-positive. Katie, on the other hand, is on Volume Ten or somewhere around there. 🙂
Ha! Becky, I do that, too! More so when I was younger (MUCH younger)but it always fizzled out. Notes, on the other hand…I got a million of 'em!Kimberly, thanks for dropping by! And you're so right about the writing world. It's all about the stick-to-itness. :-)Hey, Deb? I'll trade with you–one pulling out of the closet by Mr. Hall for 3 hours of Katie's enthusiasm. She doesn't even have to write–just stand behind me and cheer. 😉