i once read in a book that to build a writing life i should write 1000 words and a "charming note" each day to someone in the publishing world that i admire- an author, an agent, an editor. now, it should be said that i hate rules and guidelines. they suck me in and make be believe there is one "right" way to do things and no other. i get fixated on them, to my detriment, and flounder around, searching for something to compare myself to and to measure myself by. usually, there is nothing there, and i am left a little devastated that i tried so hard without any real, traditional "success" to speak of. but who should measure my success and what that looks like but me? at any rate...
i read these books because i struggle every day, all day, with sitting still and what to say and how to say it and who is really listening anyways, and so forth. sometimes everything can seem utterly pointless. but i want to write because i want to make art. art doesn't really need a reason for being. it simply is. and yet i over think it.
so being a fairly new writer, i don't know where to begin, and in my newness i thought, screw 1000 words a day (some days i write 10 and others 3000- but i write everyday), but, because i'm shy and introverted by nature, i'll send out just a few charming notes on my terms, to people whom i idolize for their accomplishments, if for no other reason than to prepare for the crushing rejection that often comes with trying to get published. and so i did. keep in mind, my heroes are not grandiose, godlike creatures. they have jobs, families, responsibilities and struggle like i do to keep it all balanced. they've just been printed somewhere. that's all that sets us apart aside from geography, really. several weeks passed and i began to believe i came off in my letters as some kind of stalker and that my vain, if not lame, attempts at networking were pointless. and then i opened my email today.
inside, in two lovely little words, in the subject of an email: thank you.
i received responses from 2 of my little notes i cast to the wind, one from author Ashley English of Small Measures, and one from John Gladden, a local columnist for the Medina County Gazette. i am elated that both of them thought enough of me and my inquires as to how they succeed to take a moment and write back. i have printed them and tucked them lovingly in my journals, my mobile reminder that art needs no real purpose to be and if i just keep moving forward something might happen on it's own.
if the daily grind at my regular job had really sucked out my creative soul, this helped to coax it back a bit, because people i do not know but admire took notice that i exist. it really is the simple things that keep me going, like frost on the grass, a quick email or art for art's sake. i don't need strict regimented routines to have a writing life. i already do. but the charming notes are fun.
and now i'm ready to begin, braced a bit against rejection and failure and setting out, moving forward.