Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wordplay and Witticisms: PERSPICACITY - adj. (1640): of acute mental vision or discernment; keen; shrewd

"I understand," I said. "The fact is that you have the money." His face brightened. He seemed pleased at my perspicacity.

The Sea Wolf by Jack London

My current writing soundtrack: Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack

I stayed up late last night finishing Bacherlorette #1 by Jennifer O’Connell and found some uncomfortable parallels between the hens (bachelorettes) and writers.

Sarah Holmes, a freelance magazine writer, leaves her husband and eighteen month old daughter to infiltrate the world of “The Stag” (think “The Bachelor”) and write a scathing exposĂ©. If she does well and makes it through the candle ceremonies, she could be looking at five weeks in the world of TV, twenty-somethings and blatant flirting.

This was a great story, exploring some serious issues in a poignant yet humorous, light-hearted way.

But what made me shift uncomfortably in my seat was the way I easily identified with the hens. These women are good-looking (though not perfect) and intelligent (albeit looking for love on a TV show) with successful careers and promising futures. Yet they all came onto the show hoping to be the coveted chosen one. I feel like that as a writer (not necessarily the good-looking, intelligent, successful career…well you get the picture). I hope to be the lucky winner. When I query agents and editors, I feel a little desperate, hoping, pleading, begging that they will choose me.

But what Sarah realizes as the show goes on is that all of these women made the choice to be on the show – each for their own reasons. And I was hit with a startling revelation: I am not desperate – although I may beg, hope and pray. I have chosen to reach for published status…at any point I have the choice to walk away and either leave writing behind or forget about getting published and just write for pure pleasure (at this point, I am not necessarily writing to make a living – I have a day job for that). The “I get it” bulb in my brain magically lit and the resonating “ding” that echoed through my head reinforced the message: choice, choosing, to choose. That knowledge makes me feel powerful instead of desperate, in control instead of blowing in the winds of chance…and it makes me feel excited about writing once again. I chose to join this world and I love it. Even though I know it will be a road paved with rejection and disappointment, this is where I want to be. The world I want to inhabit: the sphere of the writer. And should it ever become too much or no fun or just a pain in the ass, I have the choice to walk away and pursue other interests…and that is an empowering, heady thought indeed!

Knowledge is power – especially the knowledge of choice.

Keep writing…as long as you choose to do so!

Also, check out this article from PR-Inside for an optimistic kick in the pants!

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