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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Flash Back

Happy Tuesday All,

Something interesting happened to me during Agent Scott Eagan's talk on Saturday (which I talked about in this post).

What happened was Scott brought up having been a Composition teacher at one point. Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. That isn't what invoked the flash back.

What invoked the flash back was when he was talking about having "3-5" of something (I think it was publishers). His advice was very good. (Sure, I cringed, but that was when he was talking about goofy mistakes people sometimes make).

I winced during him talking about those 3-5 things...but not because of having to come up with those things (although at first I was worried about what to do about it, but I'm not anymore, I've managed to figure a few things out since the talk), but because of what was running through my head:

I was remembering Junior year of high school...the dreaded term paper (worth 2 grades because it was one paper for 2 classes) and all the things that went into it. But even that wasn't what was playing through my head.

No, it was the style of writing we had to use (Jane Schaeffer, whom I hear is a really nice lady).  But I was remembering this:

"Statement.
Commentary
Commentary
conclusion

In the statement have 3-5 details."

I was remembering how hard it was for me to write essays in high school...how restricted I felt (couldn't use linking verbs; and you had to write everything a certain way in a certain style and by golly you better not stray--I hear they're not as strict. Go figure they'd wait for the writer to graduate before loosening up the rules, right? LOL).

Anyway, so I was remembering that. So I winced. I couldn't help it. I remember reviewing those essays, how many drafts we had to write for the term paper. How much research we were supposed to have. How many index cards of research (I think it was 50).

Trust me, being a writer is a job, publishing is a business and everything, but compared to that, writing fiction is like a party for me. Sometimes even the research is fun. I can deal with the nerves, and writer's block can be a pain, but please, don't make me go back and relive those essays.

Sure, it tightened up my writing and I learned a lot, but I love writing fiction. I love that my imagination can run wild. Editing takes time and yes, you run through a ton of drafts, but it's way more my niche than when I wrote high school essays. (Besides, in fiction, you can have things that don't even exist!)

For the record, I did love English class. I'm still friends with a couple of my high school English teachers, and they're wonderful people. They taught me a lot and they're some of my best cheerleaders--I am grateful to each of them for being the great teachers they were and are. I'm even grateful to the dreaded term paper because it helped me learn. But, I have no desire to go back and do it all again.

I'll stick to the writing and publishing business no matter the similarities or the differences in my experiences with essay writing, because, this is where I belong. I don't know where this road is going to take me, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Have A Tremendous Tuesday!

2 comments:

Ryan Vukmanovic (Space Chicken) said...

Well it's those same English teachers that help groom you to be a great writer. All writers love English class whether it's in Junior High,High school or even College. If you hate it then why write at all? I will say that you certainly do belong in the writing world. (sorry for the "Bethany fan boy" plug)

Bethany said...

Ryan,

Thanks, and I appreciate your going "fan boy". :-)