Writing and Diversity – Salvation
For months now I’ve been doing my best to do my writing assignments, create a social network that functions for me, encourage and be encouraged by other writers and generally learn my way around the writing industry. And I’m doing well, actually.
I just received my first galleys yesterday for piece of poetry to be included in an anthology. Excitement rushed through my body forcing nerves to tingle and fingers to twitch. I saw the event in capital letters. MY FIRST GALLEYS HAVE ARRIVED.
The arrival created more excitement than it would have normally, I think, b/c I wasn’t expecting it. My week had been going well in spite of server problems. I’d received word from an editor that a story that had just been rejected by her publication could be subbed to another mag and telling me to use her name as reference. I was thrilled that this editor thought enough of my work to send me a referral. Stunned comes close to describing my reaction.
So you can see how I could get a bit overzealous when galleys arrived, expected or not. I was already riding a high and now had even more reason to keep the ride going. Yes, I can see you nodding in agreement.
So, then, I was thinking this afternoon about how some writers stay so tightly focused on medium that the rest of the writing world ceases to exist. (Actually, that also comes from having noted an article’s title from the curent issue of Writer’s Digest. I haven’t had a chance to read the article yet, though.)
I’ve been fortunate that, even as a newbie, I will take on just about any genre to see if it works for me. I do have exceptions. I don’t do Horror or Romance. I know for a fact that I’m no good at them. I haven’t had the time to try a western nor pursue a prospective market for one yet. But different poetic forms, age-specific genre, NF and Fiction, essay, memoire, personal experience, inspirational, etc. have all emerged from beneath my fingers.
I’m not saying they were worthy of Pulitzers, but they were finished and readable. Not great but readable. And the one thing that I’ve learned from doing everything from Hint Fiction and Flashfiction to Poetry and Childrens to Adults and Academics is that each will inspire ideas for projects in others arenas of writing. Just because I’m writing an NF piece for a children’s mag on how destructive something (X) is to the environment doesn’t mean that I don’t also have a story about the effects of X on a neighborhood’s ground water or playground or what-have-you. At the same time a SF story could come from extrapolating about the consequences of X fifty years down the line.
Couple that SF pc with the understanding that the whole magilla is destined for a readership of 10-12 years old and you get the picture. New writers tend to focus many times (at least in my experience) on those arenas they feel comforatble in without realizing that they may have already used elements of four or more genres just to get that beautiful little story that they’re sending into Highlights for review. They may not trip to the lyric quality of their prose as they’ve written about X. They may not be able to see the story’s many facets and its depth and impact.
I know with my own writing Ioften wonder who could possibly find a particular story interesting. Just because I find something worthwhile in it doesn’t mean that others will as well. The internal argument can go on and on through infinity if I don’t stop it immediately with the realizetion that if I’m interested, others will be, too.
Now, you’re asking what that has to do with diversity. Well, I’ve discovered that (at least for me) diversity of perspective also tends toward diversity in markerts, which in turn leads to a greater likelihood of publication. We each have latent talents that we don’t recognize in ourselves. If we never tap other avenues of pursuit, how can we possibly know whether we have a greater affinity to other areas and subjects? How can we strive to utilize our complete potential if we constantly walk the same road every day?
If you are one who likes traveling in the rut, you’ll never be able to see the wonders above your head. If you’re willing to climb out of that rut, you may finds delights for both heart and mind. That’s really what diversity is.
It’s the exercise of perceiving alternative delights, alternative interests, and alternative courses of action. Think of it as the mental amusement park built strictly for writers. I’m a rollercoaster person, myself. Maybe you enjoy the ferris wheel. Just think of what you can see from up there.
Happy viewing and enjoy the park.