A couple of people on Twitter recently suggested I blog more often. I would, really, but I don’t know what I have to say.
So what should I write about?
I got another reject this morning.
There, I said it. Someone doesn’t want me. They don’t want my script writing, and that publisher back in New York doesn’t want my novel either. So clearly, they don’t want me.
Okay, I’ve spit out that little bit of bile. And yes, I have had that thought. I’ve had it each time I get a rejection; each time I don’t get a job I apply for.
But I do not hold on to such thought for more then a few seconds. I can’t hold on to them. They are garbage; they are disease, they are rot. An infection that if it is not cut out of the body at the very start will grow and fester and destroy you from your very heart outward.
Yes, I know you’ve had that thought as well. We all have had it. But to survive we must never let those thoughts take root (I know I switched metaphors, go with me).
Some people will submit one story, one script, one set of art samples to a comic publisher, animation house, or what have you. And when that letter arrives (letter, e-mail, phone call, heaven forbid text message) they quit and give up never to ever try again.
I know that feeling as well, and the thought that follows; “I’ve got nothing else to write. Might as well give up now.”
Well if you do then you really have given up. You’ve quit, and you’re dead.
But sometimes, even if you think you’ve given up and quit, the writer deep down inside isn’t ready to let go. New ideas are being seeded in to your subconscious all the time, and when they start to make themselves known you’re going to have be ready to nurture them, and ignore the weeds of doubt and fear that have been growing in your field up till then. (Told you that metaphor switch would work. Didn’t know it then, but do now.)
If you try too hard to write a certain type of story, that genre you like, or that one that’s popular right now, you’re probably not going to get very far. But if you just start writing with certain themes and emotions behind it, then your stories will come and they’ll keep coming.
While I began to write this blog, I looked out the window at the apricot tree, and a spark of a memory came to me. We had a bumper crop of fruit this year (and they were really tasty), but they’re all gone now. After we had harvested as many apricots as we could (I had to climb on the roof to get most of them.) There are still a lot of them that become food for birds and the squirrels. Then there are the fruit that just falls to the ground and are lost. Sometimes these fruit fall and hit the roof over my office. ‘Thud’ and then a rolling sound before it falls off and hits the ground and starts to rot.
So, just now, my memory of this falling fruit became the first line of a new story:
She way laying in bed when she heard the sound of the apple hitting the roof overhead and then rolling along the slanted shingles before falling to the grass outside. It was a gentle noise, almost funny. Then another struck the roof and rolled, followed by another. Suddenly the apples began to strike the roof like a hale storm. Sitting up she could see them falling past her window. With a sense of fear she wondered what shaking the apple tree so hard.
That’s all I’ve got right now. Just one single image of falling fruit, and I suddenly have a possible suspense story. Is there an animal in the tree shaking the apples down? If so, how big could it possibly be? Or is it something or someone else?
I don’t know yet, but a story is growing out of the seeds of those falling fruit.
My point is that look around you at the most inconsequential things and you might well find the little acorn that can grown into a mighty oak of story.
But don’t let those falling fruit begin to rot inside you, because as I said they will if you don’t do something with them. If you give up, then everything rots.
So don’t let the rot start, don’t let the weeds have time to grow. No matter how you feel after getting that rejection; it’s not the end of the world. People don’t hate you. You’ve got a field full of more fruit ready to be harvested and turned into the greatest stories in the world.
What are you waiting for? Start harvesting, and don’t let it rot!
As to those rejection letters; Turn them into mulch to feed your fruit and keep writing. Just like I did here.
There, happy now. I wrote another blog. I had no idea what I was going to start writing when I began this. Now I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Thanks for reading.
Kevin Paul Shaw Broden