Last week, I picked up a copy of the Writer’s Digest yearbook issue on novel writing.
Status seekers: “those whose desire is to be published.”
Storytellers: “those whose passion is to spin stories.”
I read the definitions and how the career of each category of writer might play out. And I asked myself, which am I?
Last year, my desire to write (outside my journal) surfaced yet again. This time I couldn’t –wouldn’t– brush it off. I took a few classes with Ariel Gore and wrote several pieces of which I am proud. I submitted some of those stories out into the real world and received several no’s and one yes.
I keep writing, because I love to write. Like my husband loves to run. He never wins first place in the marathon, but he seaches online for the next race as often as I search online for another opportunity to submit. I’m almost forty. I figure, why not? And I think, what’s a story if no one reads it?
I’m not sure if that makes me a status seeker or a storyteller.
Where ever I sit on that continuum, Donald Maass’s words remind me not to get caught up in the publishing frenzy. They compel me to take it slow, focus on the craft.
Because, as Margaret Atwood says in Negotiating with the Dead, A Writer on Writing:
…Everyone can dig a hole in a cemetery, but not everyone is a grave-digger. The latter takes a good deal more stamina and persistence.