Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Being Told You're a Good Writer Makes You Feel All Warm Inside

Met tonight with the professor who is working one-on-one with me on revisions of Choice. I appreciate this professor very much. That Choice is where it is right now is very much due to her allowing me to bring the original short story into her workshop last spring (I have this story that got really good rejection letters, including a personal note on the form rejection from The New Yorker, and was also got me named a finalist for two Nevada Arts Council Fellowship, but I haven't been able to get it published. I've revised it and want to know if I'm on the right track, can I bring in the original and see what the class does with it? - It was the best thing I've ever done in a workshop for understanding that I DO know what I'm doing with revision). So I gave her the 170-some odd pages I have written and in the computer and she read them last week and we met tonight.

I was so nervous, but she told me she thinks it's wonderful. She's very impressed and I should have no problems finishing it this semester, and then I can start looking for an agent to get the thing published.

It is extraordinary how much these words mean to me. I have been glowing for the past five hours and every time I think about it, I break into a huge smile. It is also such a relief to hear that someone liked reading what I've spent the past several years working on, that the things I think are on the page are actually on the page, and that the book works as a book. Yes!

I did not get anything done on my residency today, I spent the day being very much under the weather with this cold that has been lingering in my body for the past couple of weeks - it finally decided to kick things up a notch and blossom into a low-grade fever this afternoon.

I did run into a friend of mine on the way to class tonight, and got some great advice about the residency project. I told her about this fabulous suitcase I had found and wanted very much to use but I needed to figure out a way to keep the contents from getting spilled all over the floor. I've already written the piece that I want to go with it - it was incredibly fertile ground for moving me into narrative.

Beth said not to worry about it until later for a couple of reasons. 1) I needed to understand what is important to me in the way I wish to present the physical object - did I want to preserve the found objects in the integrity of how I found them? If so, I shouldn't do anything to disturb them, such as removing one object to test out how to solve my problem. 2) the solution for this particular problem might not work for other objects and, since I'm working to present a body of work, the solution needs to make it possible to present all the objects in a similar manner to create cohesiveness.

I thought it was great advice.

Well, I'm off to do some reading for class tomorrow and then to bed.

What a fabulous day!

(blogger's note: You're probably looking for this post: How to Know If You're A Good Writer The post you're looking at right now comes up a lot when people are searching for advice on how to know if you're a good writer, but it's really about my experience of being told I'm good. If you want some advice on how to know if you're good, try the other one. I think it will help you out. And good luck! Diane)

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