|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
The Omnipresent Quick Reminder
1. I am a believer in the never ending process of learning. In that cause I would like to put out an invitation to poets living in the Ventura, California area. Wednesday nights, for the next eight weeks, at 7 PM in Ventura at the Vita Art Center, 432 North Ventura Avenue, there will be an ongoing poetry workshop. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your craft and gather with other writers in the pursuit of excellence
2. I have never done this before so I'm still figuring out my proverbial butt from a hole in the ground. What I am proposing is a poetry contest. Before you get to crazy, I am initially aiming this at the Southern California area. Perhaps later I can expand my reach but I'm still trying to get the ins and outs figured and would appreciate suggestions from anyone who has done this, or anything remotely similar, before.
Feel free to contact me in either of these regards at the e-mail address listed at the bottom of the post.
Now then, be that as it may and moving right along...
WHEN DID WRITING STOP BEING WORK?
Nope, I'm not trying to be cute or funny here. Did I miss something? Is there some great honking secret in regard to writing and success that I haven't been clued in to? Has success somehow managed to sneak out of its usual place in the dictionary? I swear that's the only place it comes before work that I've ever been aware of! (I even looked in my American Heritage Dictionary before typing out that sentence to make sure. Right where I left it!)
I understand that consuming desire to be a recognized, money making writer, the next J.K.R., E.L. James, or Stephen King. What I don't get is the apparent lack of research into these writer's careers. None of them were 'overnight' successes. Nor was Hemingway, Flaubert, Dickens...I think you probably get it. Why, then, are so many trying to jump the line? Take my word for it, the only result of literary leapfrog is you eventually fall on your face!
This is one of your Uncle Dane's no shit moments. If you proceed out of the nest before you have developed your wings, your evolutionary viability is the same as a Neanderthal's. Yes, for a brief span you will be highly recognizable...just before a much longer period of people going, "But what HELL did he look like?" You will probably put yourself in a position of having to live down far more than you have to live up to. You will stand a very good chance of finding publishers and editors turning away from what they see as clumsy early attempts in favor of others who have sweat bullets over blazing keyboards...All right, so I tend to exaggerate ...Once in a while.
There are no magic wands, words, or potions. It's hours in front of a monitor, living with a notebook close at hand, reading the words of those you admire with the analytical lack of joy of a forensic pathologist and realizing that a lot of your early stuff will get turned back until you find a voice of your own. I can attest to that last phrase because it was on my FIRST rejection. (You don't want to know how many have followed!) As far as rich and famous? Well, good luck there, just take a walk through Barnes and Noble or peruse Amazon randomly and tell me how many names you truly recognize?
Okay, turn off the damned T.V., take out the ear buds, let down the blinds, and get used to the company of your imaginary friends. Welcome to the writing life.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis