Saturday, November 29, 2008

Change Is Good


Change is in the air.

Some changes I expected. I initiated the largest one myself. I’m changing from the writing workshop I’ve been in for the last two years to a smaller, more intensive writing group. It’s not that I don’t like the old group. I do, and I plan to stick with it. But the group has grown and the critiques have become less insightful. Many of the writers, though talented, aren’t as interested in writing as a career as I am, so they (understandably) don’t devote the time to their writing I do. I, on the other hand, need to dig in and commit, to have writing buddies who will be there, deeply assessing each inch of the story arc. So a new group to meet that ever-growing need.

Other changes have taken me by surprise. Old writing friends reappeared a few weeks ago to invite me to join them on a new writer's forum. After I left the Writer’s Digest forum, I never thought I’d participate in an online forum again. (Not anything against the forum; it was primarily a time issue that tugged me away.) But, now that I’m back in with these fine, generous writers, I find myself enjoying it. Time is still a major issue. I try to do one well-considered critique a day. It isn’t much, but I do my best.

But perhaps the biggest change has been the new phase my writing has entered. Prior to now, getting my writing out for public consumption had been an uphill battle. I’ve earned every acceptance I had by enduring fistfuls of discouraging rejections. One story, recently accepted, was rejected five times before it finally found a home.

Somehow, I’ve crossed a magical threshold where my work has developed a life of its own and is creating its own opportunities. Two such marvels have come my way this month:

* My short story, “The Burning Black,” has been selected for Every Day Fiction’s Best of 2008 anthology.

* My short story, “Free,” was the most read story on Every Day Fiction for September, amassing a mind-boggling 1400 reads. Every Day Fiction has graciously requested an interview with me (yes, of course, I accepted). So my first official author interview is scheduled to be published December 1.

Wow. It’s been a long haul getting here. And I can’t believe where I stand. I have a long way to go. The same day I got the interview request, EDF also sent me a rejection. And Jamieson’s Folly is far from finished. But I feel like I’m getting somewhere and I’m damn grateful for it.

I’d like to add one final note: I’ve always been a person who dreads change. I live and die by my daily routine. God help anyone who messes with it. But for the first time in my life, I see change as an organic and beneficial force in my life. I see change can be good. Perhaps that’s what I should celebrate the most.


Caryn Caldwell said...

Congratulations on your good news! As for critiquing, that's such a hard balance, isn't it? It took me forever to find the right critique partner, and I went through lots of groups in the meantime.

Greta said...

Caryn, I've been there, too: tons of crit partners and lots of writing groups, some of which have been really awful. I'm counting on the new group for discipline. I've committed to a chapter a month for them, so I have to keep moving forward on my novel. They're a terrific group who manage to make time to write, in spite of insane schedules, so there's no room for lame excuses.

Thanks for stopping by. It's nice to have a new voice around here. I get a little bored with my own :)