Short essay about writing.
| Dear Me
I would like to begin 2022 in a positive way; that is, I would like to believe that this year will be a little different from the last one. I would choose not to submit any of my writing that I have not thought of properly nor that I have not edited thoroughly. I would endeavor to write positively, to create something that I may be able to submit as a positive work, that I developed on my own without help from an editor or someone who is connected and well known in the publishing world.
I was in a lot of anger last year. I learned a tremendous knowledge about publishing and publishers. I learned about editors, about employees in the publishing world, about people who would help you get published if one dishes out lots and lots of cash around. I felt angry and sick to my stomach when I found that there is not a chance at all for a new writer to get published because she/he knows no one at the top of the publishing world. It still sickens me at the present time, that the publishing world is nothing but a sick, evil and ugly part of publishing; and to belong in that world means one has to be as tough and as evil as the rest of that world.
I have actually stopped submitting my work because I believe there is actually no chance in a million that any work I decide to submit will ever be published. I have learned quite a few lessons about publishing, and it irks me to realize that I do not know of someone in the publishing world who would help me get published. It was a hard lesson for me to believe, even as I thought that my work is as good and as readable as any other writer in the world.
So I published my own writing: a book about elephant seals for elementary school children as well as a book of poetry. And it was readable! And it was acceptable! And it was published!
Nevertheless, this year I would like to be published because I know I am able to write something that is unique and believable. I would like to challenge myself this year. I shall look over and edit some of my writing, and make it more creative so that any high-minded editor or publisher would not refuse to accept it. I promise not to balk from submitting my writing again because I believe I am good at it.
When I was in high school, I began to like writing essays. I became attached to the library, where I realized I could get at books that were a big help with what I wanted to say in any of my essays. I began to read essayists and how they managed to pick a subject, developed it into a number of points that were winnable and acceptable. Although I never joined a debating team, I was always in attendance when two teams argued the truth and falseness of a subject. It was such an invigorating atmosphere when two different teams came to terms with what is wrong and what is right with the subject.
Then I graduated from high school and entered the university, where I enrolled as a journalism student, with English as a second subject. It was there that I learned many, many more ways to write effectively. I became entranced with subjects, predicates, verbs, adverbs, and the lot. There was the beautiful way of writing a sentence by using a comma/semicolon/period. It was a world of words that resonate in every little thing that happens with oneself and with others. There were questions and question marks; there were parenthesis and paragraphs as well as
singular and double-sided printing. It was a world that was unknown to me until I began to understand their meanings.
Then I began to practice writing: a story; a review; an essay; I even tried to write in my own dialect. I read books on writing; on editing; on how to make my work believable and in accordance with practices in the writing world. I just wrote because I did want to write and not because I wanted to be published.
I was lucky in that I had an uncle who was a published writer in one of the most prestigious political magazines at the time I was in the university. He found out I was a journalism student, so he took me in to train me to write essays. It was such a wonderful feeling as I trained and worked and wrote essays. Although none of my work were ever published, I knew, and my uncle also knew, that I was not any good at it at all. And so I gave it up, only because my uncle passed away, and I felt I had so far absorbed a lot from what he told me about writing.
I began to find ways how to write a story. I joined a team of college students who were learning how to write short stories. Some of them were like me, beginners in the sense that we have not published any work. Although I hasten to say that a number of the group were also beginners but were good and able to write something that were acceptable to editors and publishers, and were in fact published.
The world of writing is a lonely place. One sits alone, composing, editing, re-writing and doing more re-editing. There are words that are acceptable; words that do not belong; words that are not acceptable in certain themes, and many, many more words that are wanting and needy
without some kind of help from other words. When one writes, it is either go ahead and write it; otherwise it is completely out of one’s wit and knowledge; you are not what you think you are.
I find it difficult sometimes to accept that there is a world in writing where no one is allowed to write at all. You want to write; you learn how to write; you master the words that you want to use in your writing; you are successful in writing; however, your work is not acceptable; not publishable; not worth the work you have put in it. You may think you are a writer. However, no one else thinks you are a writer.
In the university, you learn to write properly, in the English language. You practice it as you write. You edit your writing. It is still not as good as you think it should be. So you go into the work again, and edit, edit, and edit it some more. Then the English teacher puts in her/his thoughts; and you are found wanting.
So you start all over again. Erase and delete the one you have already written. Go into another theme. Learn what that theme is about and work on it; for days, for weeks, and even for months. Finally, after many, many thousands of words that expelled out of your tired mind, you decide this is it. Now you know you are right; that your writing is just as good as that of the editor’s. So you submit.
You have been edited; your work has been found wanting; it was lacking in one thing or another; the why and the what, and many more questions that were never explained in terms of the why, the what, the which, and the result of rejection letters. However, the editor says you must re-do it; look for the missing link; find out why and what kind of genre you are doing.
As I recall it now, I wrote essays through the four years I read and studied journalism. Why did I get grades like 90%, one day; 80% another time; or most of all why did I have a 100% grade twice, four, or a number more times than I could remember? Was it because I understood the proper use of the English language? Or was it something else that was beyond my understanding?
Actually what I have come to learn the past number of years is that anything that has to do with writing and editing and submitting mean nothing to do with writing and editing and submitting at all. The writing world is largely populated with so-called editors; sub-editors; semi-editors; upcoming editors; practicing editors; rejected editors, who in turn push forward their so-called “know how” (?) editors. It is also overcrowded with so-called publishers, who dominate the writing world with pretentious offers of fame and fortune, which really means nothing at all to a writer: a real, up and coming, practicing, beginning, living writer, that is.
So you see, Dear Me, writing to me is still writing and all about writing. Not the fame and fortune nor anything like it at all. It is neither the rejection slips nor the editing nor anything at all that exists in the minds of people in the writing world.
It is a thought in time; a test of understanding, a matter that concerns the learning and the practicing of writing words that arouse feelings of happiness, distress, shame, regret within a writer. It is real writing that exists within me as well. I shall not give it up just because of the many things I have mentioned above.
I am, at this very moment on my Mac, trying my utmost best to write about writing. Somehow I managed to say a lot about a number of things in passing. They are mere words that came out of my brain, words that have been clouded with questions of what is real and what is truth, and what is the actual practice in the writing world. Words come easy out of one’s mind at a time when one is deep in thought. Writing, actually, is as real as the Mac on which I am attached to at the moment.
And so I shall endeavor to write again, not about the many number of things and events that cloud one’s mind within the world of writing, but about how I shall write a story, a work of art, that I shall edit with the dignity of a soldier in the battle field of war, whether or not I win the war at all.
I shall detail my story in the sense of the beginning, the middle, and the final ending. I shall include words that would clear the many questions that may come up concerning the meaning of my story. I shall try to be exact, to be clear-minded, to be certain that I use the right and proper word that would give meaning to what I am writing about. I shall use the right word/words that would mean what I actually want to say. I shall detail the purpose of my character/characters as well as make improvements to certain passages that may lessen the meaning of such passages. I shall try to write, not as a beginning writer, but as a writer of words that would define the kind of writer I really want to be. I shall define the meaning of my work through words that are easy to understand. I shall not use big words that may give a wrong meaning to what I actually want to say. I shall write to make my work more clear in terms of what the subject matter is all about. I shall write to color my work with words that would persuade a reader that my work is a work of art. I shall write and follow the codes of writing the proper way.
I shall write like a writer because I am a writer.
Number of words: 2,004