Monday, May 3, 2010

Reasons to write: from Sara Crowe's blog

Sara's client Rachel Greer writes this post (sent our way by Liz Mills):

I’ve heard other writers say that when they get a rejection letter, they post it on the wall of their office. A well-known poet I know says his walls are just plastered in them. I have never understood this; it’s one of those things that fly over my head and I’m too ashamed to admit I don’t get it. My own office has hand-painted cards from people I love, art books and poetry books open and propped up. Do the rejection-plasterers find punishment inspiring? Maybe it proves to them that they exist, that at least they’re trying, seeing their name written over and over in print like that, on letterhead from coveted presses and magazines. I assume, maybe incorrectly, that writers who plaster their walls in rejections actually do so because they are in the what-doesn’t-kill-you-makes-you-stronger camp. It makes you stronger like a callus makes your hands stronger when you’ve worked with them awhile. But a callus of the soul or heart isn’t supposed to be a good thing.

When I receive a bunch of rejections (an inevitability as a writer) I am always left facing the reasons I’m writing in the first place, so I can know why to keep going. And I’m faced over and over again with the somewhat uncomfortable fact that one of the reasons I write is to get approval. But the reasons I write change, depending on which one I need. I’ve written them out below, and I’d love to know if anyone has anything to add to this list, especially those writers on who are further along in their careers, and know the feeling of holding their own book in their hands.
 Read the rest.

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