Desire to be published killed writing ability

What Mel Did - Writers' block
Image credit: Melinda Fargo

As a freelance writer, it is a thrill when an independent magazine or publication picks up your work, and always orgasm-inducing when said publication give you money coins for your words.

This week, I was chuffed to have been featured by Submittable, the giants of the creative submissions technology of the same name.

The piece they picked up was about a former battle I had with writers’ block:

When my children were younger, I wrote them an original story about four children. The characters in the story were loosely based on them (okay, a lot based on them) and my writing seemed to delight their budding imaginations.

Spring forward several years and my young people are now adults. Much has happened during this time: the children lost their father to a sudden heart attack, and I lost my husband and closest friend.

I also became a blogger and newspaper columnist in an attempt to retain many of the personality quirks my husband loved. Writing became a place to pretend I had not died along with him and to remain recognisable to him should he have the ability in some afterlife to be looking down (or up) at me.

To pay the bills, I resumed my role in project management by day, writing during any spare time I had.

My naive little story from the days of my children’s babyhood remained largely unformed, until I hit on the idea of sending it to a publisher to see what they would make of it…

Read on | Submittable

4 Comments

    • Thank you, I’ve just seen it. As always, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Yes, validation has a major part to play. Ironically, we would not know the names of some now famous authors had they been influenced by all the rejection slips!

  • Thank you Melinda. I loved this article. Still trying to find my true voice in my writing. That is why I started blogging initially. I wouldn’t say boo to a goose before.

    Since then I have tried to develop my writing, reading tons of articles on creative writing, been consumed with social media to get exposure for it.

    In the end, I am still trying to find my true voice but now suffering from frequent periods of writers bock and procrastination. Its hard to get a balance between developing your craft, staying true to your origins and finding yourself.

    By the way, your site, words and photos are beautiful. Keep up the inspiration.

    • Thank you, Christine. Lovely and generous comments to make. In terms of finding your voice… it tends to come when we stop worrying about what others may think of it. If I want to guarantee writers’ block I just have to start thinking about what everyone else might want me to write! That said, it is a very very brave thing to put creativity out there. You’ve done that.

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