by Hannah Roveto
Funny, the reaction you get when your name appears in the paper. It's not like this was the first time; I'm somewhat active around town and I used to be a corporate spokesperson. The story on the Writers' Group was, however, the most personal story with my name attached. Funny, too, the reaction to the reactions.
People know I'm a writer. I don't usually get into the fiction thing because then there are so many questions I don't want to answer, don't know if I should answer. Do I tell them about the plot? Where I am? And the dreaded, "when will I be able to buy it?" Ummm...
Have to admit, however, when the only people who mentioned the story in the paper were my mother (to whom I'd emailed it), my husband and one neighbor, I was a little disappointed. The next day went to a show by comedienne Loretta LaRoche, where all of a sudden, everyone was mentioning it. I wanted to hug them all.
"So cool!" they said.
"No pressure now," I laughed back. "I'm the slow one on this curve. But I have a whole manuscript; I'm just finishing revisions. I'm close."
"You'll do it," they answered.
The third day I was sitting on the sidelines as large numbers of children ran around after a soccer ball. "Nice story," said one man.
"Thank you," I said, and I went into my slow-on-the-curve routine.
He was trying to be nice, I know. He smiled and said, "Well, that's the great thing about writing. As long as you're doing it, you're a writer. The publishing thing, well..."
I smiled back. And I promised myself to never, ever (after here, today) to get into the slow-on-the-curve routine again. From now on I say, simply, "thank you, I'm really excited."
The difference between writing and publishing is exactly why I found a writers' group. I had a lot to learn about writing and about getting something ready to be taken seriously. The manuscript on my screen behind this screen is the result of a lot of hard work and learning, and honest criticism and epiphanies. No matter where you are in the process, or whether you use a group, never damn your own hard work with faint praise. You know if you're serious. You know it's coming along. Just smile and write. And write. And write.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
by Hannah Roveto