Have you ever met a kid who thought he was going to buy out the entire toy store with one month’s allowance? Or perhaps you were that kid?
I never thought I could buy out a toy store, but I’m certainly “that kid” when it comes to writing. I envisioned turning my original story idea into an illustrated short story for children. I would write the story, and my friend would illustrate it. I was so excited about it that I started reading up on children’s publishing and publishers before I had even finished the story. I always dream big- someone was going to publish my little (roughly 5,000 word) fairy tale, and I was going to one-day be a famous author (have you ever compared the number of books in the library with the number of authors that you can name?). After all, it’s just a matter of decent grammar, knowing how to use quotation marks, and having a good imagination, isn’t it?
It didn’t take too long for me to realize that that one story wasn’t going to get me published, so I decided to write a couple of sequels and have a collection of short stories (my second fairy tale was a whopping 10, 000 words; the third, 30,000.) I wrote the stories and was very pleased with myself. Fortunately, I knew that I still needed a little help (mostly editing for grammatical errors and a few other minor changes, or so I thought). I did some more work, and through reading blogs, books on publishing, a book on grammar, a book on self-editing and taking an online fiction writing class, I gradually began to realize how far from publication ready my stories were.
I’ve done a lot of re-writing, but I fear that I have much more to do. They say “ignorance is bliss,” and it is while it lasts. I’m not as ignorant now. Now, I’m mortified by my pride in my first drafts. I sometimes wish that the people who read my stories had told me the truth about them, but, perhaps, it’s best that they were only supportive and allowed time and my own efforts to break the truth to me gently. After all, it was my inflated dreams that lifted me over each hurdle as I came to it.
A not so random favorite quote: “Why don’t you wish for happiness then?” “There’s only one person who’s completely happy … the village idiot.” Walt Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People