Plath was one of the original “confessional poets,” and her poetry, at first, was not well received. Her poetry, however, spoke to many. Much love for the Plath!
How did the three blind mice meet?
Why were they chasing the farmer’s wife?
Go – Write it!
There’s a theory that we don’t fear failure, we fear success.
A researcher gave graduating students an impromptu essay prompt: “After finding out Joe/Jane aced their medical exams for graduation, he/she …..”
It’s reported that the vast majority of students set up a scenario in which Joe or Jane went out and partied, got in some sort of trouble, an accident, arrested, or in some cases just gave up and “decided to do something else with their lives.”
The researchers decided this was not an indication of the fear of failure, because they’d set up a scenario in which the person(Joe/Jane) had already succeeded, yet the students then wrecked the plan. Therefore, they surmised it a fear of success.
This possible fear of success comes from anxiety, which is rampant in society today. People stay where they are comfortable, where they are familiar, and their habits serve them. Moving on to the next level, success, will bring about different challenges, and the fear of the unknown wins out.
It occurs to me that this happens to writers. People write, and write, and write, but then don’t submit. Is it really the rejection they fear? or is it the success? Think of all the anxiety that comes with the next level of publishing. You’ll be expected to do well, to do it again. And, what else might change?
What do you think? What do you fear?
I’m a big fan of Malcom Gladwell, writer for the New Yorker and author of The Turning Point, Outliers, and many others.
A writing exercise from Malcom Gladwell:
Begin a correspondence with another writer. Each of you take turns sending and responding – and respond immediately with something interesting or intriguing.
It’s a good way to practice intelligent conversations so you can learn to chat with just about anyone.
Many companies (and writers) offer services to writers. Having someone edit your story is a good idea. Having an agent or company help you with setting up a strong structure might be helpful.
However, what is there to protect writers from poor service, someone setting up shop without valid prior experience? I’ve heard many, many stories of poor editors, promised services left undelivered, etc.
I don’t think writers should have to pay for interviews or reviews – yet some writers have found themselves suckered into these “services” with the promise of sales.
The writer needs to do some background research, ask for credentials and satisfied (perhaps even unsatisfied) customers to chat with before purchasing services. Don’t go by the reviews the company or person promotes on their own website, unless you can reach out to those people personally. Too bad there’s not a yelp for writer’s service.
Recently, I did my own research on a few companies. I googled the “authors” they’d used as their positive reviews. The first author/service reviewer I couldn’t find at all – not on amazon, no website. It well could be she uses a pseudonym, but why would she not use a name people could find? Another reviewer claimed to have gone from no sales to 100,000 sales in a month’s time span. When I googled this author, they had one ebook available for purchase. It did not rank very high according to the sales figures I have access too; I found the claim to be overstated. While he may have doubled or tripled his sales, I don’t see any evidence that he has become a best seller on any available websites or lists. Consider the reason authors might make these claims: to be featured on the website in order to garner more readers and sales.
Do your research, writers. If a writer or service, company, or agent won’t or can’t supply you with references or a tax id # or a business license #, what’s your evidence they can do the promised job?
Scientists have discovered some foods are better for creativity than others. Some of those foods, Avocados, Coconuts, and Almonds have a high fat content but with what is often referred to “healthy fats”, which creates feelings of happiness and the desire to act.
I do notice that my flow is much better when I keep a healthier diet, and I do eat these types of foods pretty regularly.
Do you notice any difference in your creative juices depending on what you eat? If you never paid attention before, try it. Let me know if you sense a difference.