The writing isn't the struggle. I enjoy striving to tell it straight and true, discovering real life moments worthy of examination and wonder. It's a satisfying process, from the glimmer of an idea to the first words, from the crafting and shaping to that final bit of polish.
It's good work until that moment when I have to send it off to a publication or editor. If you saw me in that moment, you'd think that my decision to send a story was akin to triggering a nuclear war. It's not the fear of rejection making my palms sweat. It's not my financial situation, either, although if I could afford an accountant I'm sure he'd convince me to reconsider. The closing of my eyes as I face the screen, my finger pausing over my mouse, my stopping and restarting the submission process, all this hesitancy is borne from the fear that I might be misunderstood, that my appreciation of people in general might be clouded because of my words. Worse, I fear that the specific people who are a part of my story might be hurt by my rendering.
In the very best case scenario, someone who reads about themselves through my eyes feels special. That was the lovely reaction of my neighbor (featured here). My husband and parents have been great, amazing actually, understanding that a humorous poke or a family story told is just my point of view. It doesn't negate their memories, their experiences or how they might see the situation. Other people, I know, have a harder time. At least one person has told me that I may not mention him or her by name in anything I write. I can sympathize; I will honor that request.
Despite sweaty hands and 20 minutes of pacing, I pushed the button yesterday, on a story called "Ruined". We'll see where it goes. Until then, I'll keep writing. Maybe I'll search for opportunities to write profile essays. The advantage of that sort of piece is that the subjects know they're subjects. Even with that knowledge, it's still tough.
Loving my genre, yet secretly wishing I was better at fiction, LT
The following traits might be exhibited by the author of this blog: dizziness, shortness of breath, mild memory loss, over-analysis coupled with paranoia, fits of laughter, inconsistencies of thought and action, pseudo-intellectualism, general ignorance of higher math, love for God, love for husband, love for children, love for friends and family, under-pursuit of work as a teacher and freelance writer, over-pursuit of fun and food, smack talking, bursts of juggling, excessive tendencies toward dialogue and narration. Avoid doing laundry while reading or writing this blog.