Archive | February 2015

Another creator

I like giving some time, thought, and appreciation to some of the creators and creations that I really admire or enjoy: Calvin and Hobbes, The Piano Guys, Graeme Base, Sherlock, Terry Prattchet, Lindsey Stirling, and so on. I’ve come across another creator I at least admire: Neil Gaiman.


Now, it must be said, the stuff he enjoys creating is not what I enjoy intaking. Much of what he does is dark, and I’m not partial to dark or horror stuff. That said, I like the movie Coraline (I can’t imagine why, it’s not in my usual vein) and the movie Stardust (but I had to warm up to it; it was a little much in solitude, but I enjoyed it in company). I warmed up to Mirrormask too.


I’m not sure, however, that it is because of his works that I admire him. Maybe it’s because he’s genuine in what he does. There’s something very him about his work, and that’s why he’s able to produce work that stands out. He must have spent a long time developing that mind and what goes on in it. Perhaps I admire him because he’s been able to live his dream and he’s dedicated to creating good art. That takes courage and handwork. I’ve gotten the impression (albeit from other sources) that he is a humble man too, despite all his success. “Impostor syndrome,” was it?


I like to think of other creators, partly because I feel they must empathize with some of the difficulties I face as a creator. They know how scary it is, how much work it is. They know what it’s like to have their work rejected and critiqued and ridiculed. Poor darlings. I believe that is why they can be so encouraging, instead of putting themselves up above everyone else because of their honors and awards and suchlike. It’s nice to think that somebody believes.


It’d be cool if some qualified individual believed in me, because sometimes believing in myself takes effort and I’m tired.

Follow-up on the Goal

So… workshopping your story is like ripping out part of your soul and handing it to someone else, then trying not to bleed too much while they critique it. Poor little story.


Because I care about my story and because I want my story to be good, I’ve taken in to the Writing Center twice, Writer’s Workshop once, I’ve had two people from class workshop it, and I’ve been to my Creative Writing teacher three times. Every time I go, he finds something new that needs work. That’s good. I wish the other resources were as helpful as him (I feel bad going to him so much, since he’s only one person and has an entire class of people to help out). Still, it gets hard, and sometimes it feels like the story will never be good enough.


I just want people to like it.


It was due for class yesterday. We turn in three stories during the semester. Once I get this one back, I’ll see what fixes I should have made to get a better grade, then I’ll workshop it with a good friend of mine when she comes to visit, and eventually I’ll submit it to the school’s literary journal, Outlet.


I know it seems strange that I’m going to submit something after my experience last year. I hated submitting my work. I didn’t think I should submit anything unless I truly that it was worthy of being published, which I didn’t. This time will be better because: a) I like my story better, b) I recognize this will be my last opportunity to submit undergrad work, c) I’ve already gotten a rejection letter before, so it won’t be a new experience.


Besides, I’ve got to work toward something. I need to have some sort of ambition, or I won’t get anywhere. I still don’t know what’s going to become of me when I graduate in April. Publishing is not the goal so much as feeling worthy and having the courage to submit the thing. That’s no small thing. It’s hard to have courage when the story never seems to get done, only closer.


If I were to get what I want, really get what I want, I’d be able to share the story with others and they would laugh, meditate, find understanding and clarity in the story, and ultimately end on a high note, feeling better about life. A lot of short stories I’ve read end on a low note, which I think is rather mean. I know there are disappointments in life, but I think there are more happy endings than we really believe. At any rate, I want my readers to enjoy the story. Laugh and meditate. That’s going to be the goal.


I’ll give you more updates on the story later. It’s called “Cracked.”