This past Monday was my birthday. That, in and of itself, if not the exciting part. The exciting part is that I got an email. This particular exciting email informed me that a short story that I wrote two years ago and submitted on a whim (after many, many rejections) will be published this August in A Literation.
I realize this is a short post, but the words I have are inadequate to the excitement of my first real publication, and I do not believe anyone want to read lines and lines of the transcription of the high-pitched sound that echoed through my brain as it tried to comprehend the news.
In short: hooray for writing and hooray for A Literation!
I loved the analytic writing in college, but not being an academic, there’s not much call for it anymore. So recently, with the encouragement of some very good friends, I’ve been doing more creative writing– poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. I’ll be honest, I haven’t done much of this sort of writing since high school, and lack of practice has not made it easier.
That being said, It has been nice to get back into the habit, even if I’m having to relearn a lot in the process. I’ve been reading essays and following blogs on writing and how to write and good tips and techniques and all that stuff. I have noticed something weird, though. There are a ton of posts on The Correct Way to Write. Now, I know I’m comparatively new to all this, but are you actually kidding me? It almost seems like a gimmick thing: “This One Weird Trick Will Make You a NY Times Bestseller!” I’m sure though, that there are some writers who honestly believe that there is a certain process you have to follow in order to create your best work. And I am also sure that for them, that is (mostly) true. But to claim that there is a Correct way to write is like saying there’s only one way to cook eggs.
Fellow newbie writers, I am here to tell you that there are lots of ways to cook eggs and pretty much all of them are delicious. You like going to a coffee shop and writing on your laptop? Awesome! You prefer to sit alone in a perfectly silent room and write everything longhand in Moleskine notebooks using your lucky pencil? Great! You do your best work when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars? Blast some Hair and get to work! It’s counterproductive to spend a ton of time worrying about whether your process is “right” or not. Just find what works for you, and then write. And when you do, make sure you’re not writing about how everyone else is doing it wrong.