Why are you showing this to me?

Posted on 15 February 2012

Last week, I turned to page 13 in the newest issue of The Writer and shoved the magazine in front of Peter’s face when he was busy cooking. He stared at the page for a minute with a completely blank expression. Then he looked up from the article ( “5 Steps to a Solid Article Draft”) to give me a bewildered look. He had only one question:

“Why are you showing this to me?”

I flapped the page at him until he noticed the byline. “Oh. You wrote it.”

And so goes my most recent article in The Writer. That’s right, it’s an article about writing an article. It contains nuggets of advice about avoiding procrastination and how to get down to work. I should probably admit here that I totally procrastinated on writing this article and whined about doing the work. But in the end, I got it done, and the proof is in the March 2012 issue of The Writer. See? Whatever I wrote about definitely works.

This was the last freelance writing-related article I had the pipeline. I’ve given myself a much needed break from writing these articles, but I can already feel the freelance itch coming on again. Since the alternative is having a reasonable schedule that is not overbooked with too many writing jobs that inevitably lead to stress sobbing, I clearly need to get back in the game and start pitching more stories. As my friend told me recently, “The day you stop pushing yourself will never come.”

When will you stop pushing yourself? And why are you showing this to me?

 


14 responses to Why are you showing this to me?

  • Teri says:

    I spent yesterday afternoon talking to high school writers about exactly this: pushing ourselves. And doing it in the face of rejection. These are kids that live in group homes, foster homes, etc… and their comments were interesting.

    As in, “Well OF COURSE you can get past rejection! I’ve been rejected all my life and I’m still here! Making myself heard!”

    As usual, I wonder who’s doing the teaching and who’s doing the learning.

    • Wow. I’m impressed they were that blase about rejection. Good for them. (Also, what is wrong with the rest of us for taking so much longer to figure this out? Maybe using Facebook at young ages changes our Rejection Meter of Shame.)

      • Averil Dean says:

        I love Teri’s stories about these kids. I can’t imagine coming from circumstances like that and being so brave and confident.

        The Rejection Meter of Shame. Maybe it’s broken?

      • Teri says:

        Right, but remember they haven’t yet had their words, their innermost thoughts, rejected. It’s another realm of vulnerability. While I’m glad they have this attitude while sitting in a room of support for their writing, we all know how hard it is to get that letter saying, “No thanks, this isn’t’ good enough.”

        There’s one line I remember from Kathryn Stockett’s (The Help) rejection pile that would have sent me under: “Please don’t send me your work anymore.”

        Wow.

  • amyg says:

    so today…i was standing in front of a magazine rack and thought, “don’t do it, amy, do not buy one more magazine until you have caught up on your: T&C, Vanity Fair, Garden and Gun…” but I wanted one sooooo badly.

    now i have an excuse to splurge tomorrow. thank you.

  • Congratulations, Laura! I have no doubt your words will inspire many.

    • I did recently receive an email from someone in Australia about my last piece in The Writer (the embarrassing personal essay about rejection) and I so far have forgotten to write back. Maybe we’ll just pretend my late email response is a mailed letter that had to make it halfway across the world to reach her?

      In other news, a fortune cookie once told me I sometimes tend to stretch things a little too far. Hmmm.

  • lisahgolden says:

    I love the interplay between you and Peter. Why are you showing this to me. Flap flap. Oh.

    I think it’s wonderful that you share your knowledge. Congratulations on the article’s publication.

  • I think that’s a fairly typical guy response right there… I’d venture a guess that I have at least two or three moments a day like that with Stephanie. It usually warrants from her a hushed, “…nevermind.”

    And then I realize what’s going on, and try to coax it out of her… whatever point or thing she was trying to lay out for me.

    I wish I could read minds. :)

  • Crap, I need to head out to B&N tomorrow! I hope it’s not too late to find this on the racks! (That’s what I get for being behind on my blog reading.)

    I need a big lesson in perseverance right now. Thank you.

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