As we travel through life we are constantly afforded opportunities to learn. Will we
ignore those opportunities, casting aside the chance to improve ourselves, or
will grab on to that chance with gratitude and humility, choosing to instead cast
aside our egos? It's almost a comforting thought - that we never really "arrive" in
this lifetime to the best possible version of ourselves, whether intellectually,
spiritually, emotionally. When will we "arrive?" From my humble perspective, we
will "arrive" when we are in Heaven in the presence of our Maker. Until then, we
should live with the realization that we always have room for improvement. This
is a bit of a heavy way to lead into a lighter, but still vital topic concerning writing.
Stay true to yourself. Last post I mentioned that I had written a story for a certain
children's magazine last February, and I never heard back from them. What
had gone wrong? I had studied the stories in a few of their issues to ascertain
what type and stories they published and had written a story for the "themed"
issue for which they were accepting submissions. The reason didn't hit
me at first. Once I decided to write another short story for a different magazine,
I again studied the stories they published. However, this time, the finished
product was a true reflection of my writing style.
Over this last week, I've realized that the first short story I wrote was too
similar to all the other stories that particular publisher must see. It was very
nice and sweet, but it didn't stand out or have a unique voice. Lesson learned.
Stay true to yourself in your writing. Although it is important to tailor story
themes and word counts to a certain publisher's specifications (at least in
writing for children), don't sacrifice your own unique writing voice or style.
I feel I should qualify that in this and the last post when referring to my "short
stories" for magazines, these are separate from the 3 manuscripts I have
written for a children's book series. I pray that as I walk through this journey,
in life and in writing, I remain teachable, continuing to learn from my experiences
and those around me.