This joke came to my attention this week. I don’t know where from but I know I didn’t make it up (see, no copyright infringement here):
Question: What do you call a fake noodle?
Answer: An impasta.
Okay. Okay. Settle down. Take a breath or you’re gonna get the hiccups. I know it is funny, but it’s not that funny. Well, maybe it is, but let’s move on.
This week I feel like a fake noodle. I haven’t gotten anything in print for a couple months, my writing efforts in December were frequently thwarted, and I won’t hear back on three other submissions until the end of January. A whole month! That’s a lifetime from now. I’m back on elementary school time, where each day felt like the equivalent of a month.
There’s a guideline out there about having 13 in play at all times, saying that at any given moment you should have at least 13 projects at some stage of development. My measly three hardly even merit mention on that scale (wait, maybe I can finesse that number up by two because I have two – no, three! – other projects I’m working on. Where does that leave us? Six? Can that be right? *sigh*)
I hope I haven’t led anyone astray as they visit this blog, possibly someone hoping for tried and true tricks that will assure a publishing deal. There’s no one formula for that. And when you hear about most people’s writing story, it usually involves grinding it out for quite a while before something “happens” to take things to the next level.
I swing wildly in my confidence about this happening for me. One moment I think I might actually have the gumption, fortitude and creativity to make it for the long-haul as a extremely minor writer. On a different day I am pretty convinced that I’m fooling myself and should be realistic and quit being too big for my britches.
The irony is that this is supposed to be a blog about writing. Inherent in that purpose comes the assumption that the person writing knows something about writing, or that she has achieved some level of success.
Nope, not me.
I’ve had a bunch of things published in random places along the way, I’ve finished and revised my first novel, I’m more than 3/4 way through writing my second novel, but I always thought I would do something working with youth or kids in some way (kids other than my own).
All my energies were directed that way.
But here’s a secret I discovered.
God had/has a lot of work to do on me. I had a lot of identity tied up in vocation and job, particularly because I thought I would work with youth in a church setting. If I wasn’t going to be a youth minister for a long haul, what the heck was I supposed to do? Who was I? If I’m not doing something that is dubbed significant by others, where do I glean my significance?
More on that another time, but suffice it to say that it took YEARS to field that question, and it is still my fallback issue when I start to wonder if it matters that I fold that load of laundry or write that blog post.
Maybe I’m less of an impostor than I initially thought. Maybe I’m just at the beginning stages of taking writing seriously enough to do it publically and take credit for it. In addition to fiction, I’ve written scripts, devotionals, newsletters, curriculum and news articles. That all counts towards refining my skills. Maybe acknowledging the journey is a good place to start.
The next step is to clean up my writing area.