Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Credentials

I talked to my sister today and the subject of her writing came up. For those of you who don’t know my sister: for her, discussion on the noble art of literature and pros comes as naturally to conversation as the subject of beer and sports does to a group of homophobic frat-boys. She told me about how she is gearing up to write two articles to send off for possible publication in a magazine or two. Ballsy, I thought. Especially considering how terrified of public forums my sister seems to be.

My sister “Ace” is an English major with the hopes to one day toil in the field of…journalism…editing…something to do with the written word. She was telling me this just off the back of a short discourse on my job hunt (which is coming along, but nothing solid yet) and it seemed that she was relating to my ambitions with some of her own. I may be reading the situation incorrectly, as I have been known to do that one time, but she seems terrified of the reactions people might have. Maybe due to content, but I feel much more likely that she is worried about bad reviews.

So, what did I say in response to her fears in regards to a serious attempt at publication? I try and relate using, of all things, this blog; oh the shame. I tell her not to take herself too seriously because a majority of my writing experience is based on poo (yes, literally). I tell her to just put herself out there and not to worry about what people think, even though the only people ever to read my work are relatives, close friends, people who were looking for legitimate medical advice and Segway enthusiasts from Germany. I am sure I came off as an arrogant ass who is way to into his little off-again on-again hobby, and who’s only criteria for publication is a computer with an internet hookup and the delusion that you have something to say. Well Ace, it’s called Half-Assed for a reason. Sorry.

For years she has been writing on her own and for assignments. In that time she has always had some reason to not show me her work. I guess I was just too curious. Honestly, I just want to see how she writes and what she has to say. Hell, it has to be more insightful than a diatribe about turd angling. My brother was the same way about his comedy. He wouldn’t let us come and see him do any stand-up until he was somewhat established. I suppose I need to just lay-off, be patient and then ravenously eat up whatever tidbit she throws my way when she’s ready.


Matthew Lumpkin said...

I was the same starting out as Ace and Pj were. I never would let hardly anyone I know watch me in the beginning. Amazingly I just had a conversation similar to this earlier this month with some "colleagues' at a festival I did.

Many of them were the same and led to the hypothesis that anyone who takes on a passion where progress comes from immediate and repeated failure seem to prefer to not fail in the eyes of anyone whose support you appreciate.

For the most part, when the confidence gets to the point where how you are received is irrelevant, is the same time when you don't care if anyone watches.

Mom said...

O.K., time to get off your ass and WRITE something!!!