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Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer (2nd Chapter)

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Greetings OS readers,

Well, I took a break from writing pieces for submission, the freelance work. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, because I just couldn't deal with the rejection letters or not hearing anything back. Two, because I was busy with my classes. At 17 credit hours and 32 hours a week at work, there just wasn't time for another job. Also, I was in a poetry class that was helping me become a stronger poet. It only seemed ideal to wait until I could learn new techniques before submitting again. I did learn quite a bit and have expanded my experience.

However, an opportunity did arise toward the end of the semester to try and get published again. So, I took what I learned and revamped one of my older poems (You Were There) and submitted it for a campus contest. And...*drum roll*... I am being published again! It feels really good. And I really needed this reaffirmation in my craft. I have posted two versions of this piece here on OS, but the new revision is longer and has had a major face lift. I would love to post the newest version here, but with it being published, I'm not allowed to post it anywhere. If you would like to read the new version, let me know in the comments and I will PM it to you.

This past semester, in my class, I have learned more than just writing techniques. I think the most important lesson I've learned is don't give up. Don't give up just because you keep getting rejection letters. Don't give up when the words and ideas just won't flow. Keep moving on. Write what you can and move one. For me, that was the hardest part. I had to write a piece every two weeks for workshop and sometimes all I had were fragmented ideas. It got very frustrating. This is how I got to revamp "You Were There." I couldn't write a complete poem, so I went back to some of my old pieces and pick this one out to see what I could do with it. I submitted it to workshop, got some great feedback and took that feedback to revise it one more time and submitted it to this on-campus anthology. So, yeah. Key lesson learned: Just keep going and don't give up.

Writing is a tough gig. Especially poetry. You end up giving someone a piece of yourself, yourself open to others to judge and it can be very nerve-wracking. One thing that you have to keep in mind is when your sharing with other writers, don't take anything personally. They aren't commenting on you, but your writing and how you present the emotions and ideas on the paper. It's also very competitive and that can be hard to deal with sometimes. But in the end, it's all worth it. Most of the time, I don't even think of my pieces as something to publish when I write them. For me, it's a release and it makes me feel good. After the piece is written, then I might look at it and think, "hey, that was pretty good. Maybe I should submit it for publication." Publication isn't the goal of my writing, even if it feels awesome to be recognized in that way. For me, it's all about the writing.

Until next time, keep your pencils sharp and your imagination free.