Chapter 6: Send
I need to say something before I write about this chapter. When I attended Ann & Charity’s seminar, “On Being a Writer: Developing Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts” (which I do recommend—it’s complementary but different from the book) the final session was about engaging with others in the writing life. We had a group discussion about an article in Slate by Jacob Silverman called “Against Enthusiasm.” Charity read this quote from the article: “But if you spend time in the literary Twitter- or blogospheres, you’ll be positively besieged by amiability, by a relentless enthusiasm that might have you believing that all new books are wonderful and that every writer is every other writer’s biggest fan.”
I get this. My Amazon “Recommendations for You” is currently all books by personal friends. Isn’t that crazy? And I still haven’t yet read all of them yet. When I do, will I be able to separate friendship from enthusiasm?
I also have a publisher, a small one. It’s important that we authors read and promote each other’s work. There’s one book I’m avoiding because although I know it’s good, I’m afraid I just can’t handle it right now. I’d want that author to feel the same freedom to not read my work.
Charity and Ann encouraged us to not try to write for everyone. We also discussed ways to be less excessively positive, to allow thoughtful, kind-hearted criticism.
So, with that explanation behind me, I didn’t get much out of this chapter. Not because it’s bad at all—I think it would be very good for anyone who is interested in sending out their work and doesn’t know where to begin. It’s just not where I am right now. Maybe I should be sending more stuff. When I’m ready, this is where I’ll turn.
Charity Singleton Craig says
I love this, Megan. I love that you felt the freedom to just not ABSOLUTELY LOVE the whole book! I don’t want anyone to feel that kind of pressure about anything I write.
It’s funny to write a book about the writing life, because as I read other people’s responses to it, I realize it’s like writing a book about parenting or marriage. They are all so different. You have to just let them be, don’t you?
I’m glad this chapter seemed like it might be helpful if you needed it. But since you don’t, I’m glad you are just moving on! 🙂
I struggle with this. Partly because, as a writer, I understand how tenderly we hold these words we pen. I want to be honest, but I don’t want to bruise either. Where do we park that thing? Good food for thought.