Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Second Day -- Risk and Writing

This is a glorious spot and, from my office in the Marion Davies Guest House, I am looking out onto an orange and yellow sunset over the Pacific. They are going to have trouble ousting me from this place. I want this residency to last forever. Each room here has the original tiled bathrooms and although you can't use them for anything remotely bathroom-like, I think it might be a lark to take a nap in the tub or write while sitting on the vintage toilet. If you come over to see these bathrooms, you'll understand.

The short story event last night was outstanding. Thank you to everyone who shed their inhibitions and got up to read. I had some audience feedback and people were very impressed. Being a writer -- one who wants to share your writing with others -- subjects you to a lot of judgement. You write a piece and bring it to a workshop -- JUDGED. You send it out for publication -- JUDGED. If you are lucky enough to get an agent, don't worry -- you'll be JUDGED. And if you're even luckier and get a book deal, even your editor will, no doubt, suggest changes. Learning what to listen to and what to ignore is part of the process. I have had to learn to put on a thick and scaly skin. I fear being judged more than almost any other thing. Last night I may have looked like I was accustomed to reading a story that had only been seen by a few people and had no publication to give it inherent credibility, but, I can assure you, this was not the case. Still, I got out there, just like you got out there. It's a risk, but I've found that my life is always better when I take them. Congratulations to all of you who took the risk with me. And for you who couldn't care less what other people think -- I applaud you, too. Maybe you can impart your secret to the rest of us.

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