Aspiring Writer Looking For Advice
I am one of your biggest fans. The first time I read your column, I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Since I was a puppy, I have been making up stories in my head. When I learned to write, I wrote my stories in little notebooks called “Canine Capers.” I showed several of them to the librarian.
She said, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see your name someday on the masthead of “Dogs International.”
Last week I gave one of my books to my new friend Olive. The next day I asked her what she thought about my story. She said it was OK, but I shouldn’t give up my day job. I told her I didn’t have a job, and she just laughed.
I asked my dad, “What did she mean about having a job?”
He said, “She was using sarcasm to imply my book wasn’t very good.”
He also said he thought my books were great. But hey, he’s my dad.
I can’t help feeling discouraged by Olive’s response. When you began your column, did you get sarcastic feedback from your friends?
Once you make your creative work public, you will have both fans and critics. When I began writing Dear Frankie, they were letters. I had just retired from a long career as a service dog and was looking for something to fill my time. When I read the letters to my friends, they thought they were great.
Later, when I told them I wanted to get them published as a column, some said, “Great idea,”, others, “Don’t get your hopes up.” and still others, “Why don’t you just have fun writing them and not worry about getting them published.”
When I submitted the columns to hundreds of newspapers, some editors said they were clever but only printed local news, others weren’t interested, some didn’t respond, and three contracted to run the column.
So pursue your passion Allie, and don’t allow others to discourage you with their cool or snide comments.
By the way, if you have been writing all your life, it’s a part of who you are and what you do. I say remember what the librarian said at times when you get down.
P.S. I blushed when you said you were a fan.
© 2022 Geneva Woodruff
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