The Writer's Life

April 6, 2009

Today was a pretty good day. I actually managed to work on my novel, the progress on which seems to slow more and more as I near the end. I can now count on one hand the number of chapters that remain. Now if I could just finish it before this Christmas....

Seriously, I have changed the deadline for this book at least three times. At first, I said it would be completed by August, 2008. Then my father-in-law, whom I loved very much, passed away. As a result, I spent the next month mentally and emotionally paralyzed. Needless to say, I didn't do much writing. Then I said it would be finished by Christmas. Then New Years. Then February. After that, I decided to keep my mouth shut on the subject and let it be finished when it gets finished. Hopefully, that will be soon--as long as life doesn't find another way of interrupting me.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about entering some poetry contests to get my name out on the writer's circuit. I went to work on my trusty Writer magazine's list of contests with a highlighter, then hauled out my binder of poems. I was soon hit with a shocking realization: I've written a lot of crap. And I don't mean crap in the generic sense. Some of my poems are truly awful. Out of a collection of nearly 100, I managed to dig out about six that might be worthy of publication. That's the downside of being a writer--you end up throwing out most of the stuff you write. Yet, in a way, it's good. Being able to look back over old work and judge it with a mature and critical eye shows how much your knowledge and skills as a writer have grown. And while I can't exactly take that ability to the bank, at least it could help me get there.

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