Want a generous dose of encouragement as you begin another year of writing? Need to know you’re not alone in the quest for publication and all that brings, including the panorama of emotions?
Amy Jo Burns offers a truthful and heartfelt gift.
“Make 2014 the year you found yourself as a writer,” Burns writes in “When Art Goes Public” at the blog of Ploughshares Literary Magazine.
I related to everything she wrote, from the solitary nature of the work to the uncertainty and exposure of going public, “the tricky hand-off between art and money.”
I like to be alone when I write. When I’m deep into a project, I don’t answer the phone, I don’t respond to emails, and on the most intense days, I don’t even venture outside. Part of what appeals to me about the writer’s life is this partnership with solitude. I crave the intense focus that an empty house and an unfinished project promise. So it came as a surprise when a huge wave of loneliness swept over me while my first book was on submission. Where did it come from?
She answers: “Nothing will make you question all your life choices (and your artistic ones) like submitting your creative work for review.”
Amen to that.
Read Burns and be encouraged, whether you’re a writer, an editor, a publisher, a literary agent, or a wannabe of any stripe.
“You are not alone,” she concludes. “I repeat. You are not alone. May we stand together in our solitude, and in support of our work. Because it’s important. Because art matters. Because we’re not afraid to begin again. Because we aren’t afraid to fail.
“What can we do, aside from writing through our fears?”