Wednesday, September 11, 2019

One Tenacious Bitch—Three Side Effects of Writing for Publication

Three Things Writing Takes, Karfelt, Writerly Status
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

1.) Just Doing It Isn't Pretty

There was a time not so long ago when I'd have cringed to call myself a tenacious bitch by any definition of the word bitch. Female dog, meaning you're what? Rabid? Aggressive? Protective? Bitchy dogs are usually protecting their puppies. There's also bitch as in bitching, meaning complaining. A harpy. A nag. All negative.

Tough then. I'll own it now. Consider my stories my puppies. I have to fight for my time with them. Know what else? I'll bet harpies get the job done. 

It took me a while to embrace my inner bitch and give her the respect she's earned. I think I'm there. 

She's fearless. I love myself as the tenacious bitch I've grown to be.

2.) Writing means TAKING the time, MAKING the time, not WAITING for the time.

I work hard. Whenever I say that my mind flashes to that scene in Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation when Audrey Griswold says, "He worked really hard, Grandma" and the Grandpa Art goes, "So does a washing machine."

Sometimes I do work hard like a washing machine. Churning out load after load of shitty drafts, getting nowhere. Sometimes I blog to the void with no responses. Sometimes I network or make contacts to no avail and waste time barking up the wrong trees and chasing my tail. But sometimes I work hard like a smarter machine—let's say The Terminator. I know what I want and I just keep moving forward. 

What I want is more readers. I want my own clan of readers. I want feedback for my work. I give up a lot for that goal and I work smart for it. Sometimes I tell myself I don't have to work this hard. It's a choice. I gave up an excellent parking spot for this terminator washing machine gig.

But the truth is I do have to work this hard. It's the only way to get it done. THIS writing thing haunts me. It's what I've always wanted to do. I see story worlds when I fall asleep at night and when I wake in the morning. Story whispers to me while I'm going about my business in the real world. My husband is always quick to say, "Hey! Where'd you go?" 

How does he know? Do I drool or something?

There's a cost to writing so much, making it publishable, and getting it published. Treating it like the job I've always wanted is how I get it done. 

3.) Writing Requires Sacrifice. Sacrifice isn't Painless.

Mostly I ask for grace from my family, but I lose friends quick as I make them. I can't keep up with everything. I'm not a good friend. I can't be. I put my writing first. Some people can handle that. Most can't. 

I want to write. I need to. This is my thing. My dream, my passion, my life's work. 

I love my friends, but my family comes first. Writing second. No excuses, no sorry, no time for long goodbyes. Do I feel like a bitch for it? No. Regret? Sure, but I've made my choice.

I write. It's what I do.

Writerly Status, Tenacious, Writing, Sacrifice

This week I had a spate of vestibular migraine. It's been a while since I had such terrible ones. I'd forgotten. They really are the devil. I should not be up writing at 2:34 a.m., I should be sleeping but I do this so I can get the job done. If that require one tenacious bitch, okay. Sometimes the cost is more than I want to pay. I pay it anyway. I've made my choice. You in?

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