My initial plan was to call this blog, "Publish or Bust." It was to be about my efforts to get my memoir, Nowhere Else I Want to Be, published.
My thinking has evolved. There's a lot more to being a writer than getting published. That's not to say having my book and my essays published is not very important to me. Yet focusing on that one outcome narrows and diminishes my identity as a writer.
For example, I have submitted three essays repeatedly to literary journals, one over the course of more than a year. They have not been accepted. (I prefer not accepted or declined over rejected.) Along the way I have revised and re-written, sometimes at the suggestions of my writers group, my husband, friend Juliana, and sometimes taking the advice of an editor kind enough to send suggestions with a rejec ... decline.
I reviewed those essays this week. And having read them, I realized something simple yet profound: I believe in those essays regardless of the declines from journals. I'm glad I wrote and re-wrote them over a months-long process. I love the effort, the creativity. I enjoy organizing my thoughts and watching clarity approach. I love how writing broadens my reflection and reflection broadens my writing.
I feel the same way about Nowhere Else I Want to Be. I'm proud of it. I believe in that book, its stories and, most especially, the women about whom I write. Myself included.
I will make every effort to get published because I believe I have something to say and the women's voices need to be heard. Yet I will not make publishing the most important aspect of my life as a writer.
This blog is about my journey as a writer. Published or not.