Patience, Padawan…

January 25, 2016

Sometimes, you just gotta be patient.

One of the oldest ideas in the book, huh? Remember Obi-Wan telling Anakin, “Patience, Padawan?” Or how about Master Splinter in the old TMNT cartoon, “Patience is a virtue?”

As many of you know, I’m impatient and get really antsy when I have to wait long periods of time. It does pay off, however, as good things come to those who wait.

In December of 2014 (over a year ago!), a story of mine entitled “The Man Without a Planet” was accepted by Black Denim Lit for publication. It was originally supposed to be in the July 2015 issue. September came and went, and I sent an email asking about it. It was pushed back to October, and then pretty much until funding became available. I get that, but the communication was on the low end.

I understand. I’m not mad, nor was I ever. Just frustrated and antsy.

Well, they’re publishing it very soon! Of course you’ll know when they do, why wouldn’t I tell anyone? This is a great chance to spread the word about Myke Edwards. An entertaining science fiction piece in a great online (free!) publication? How could you not want to tell all of your friends?

Whenever good things like this happen, I get very introspective. I’ve been thankful for so much, and for so many, and I just know I couldn’t keep doing this without any of you.

See, I’ve been sending out queries for my novel lately. While I haven’t had much in the way of positive responses (come on, guys…really?), it’s getting out there. People are aware of it, and most importantly, I’m doing the legwork. This is the part that people really don’t like to do, and wonder why nothing’s happening. Sorry, Charlie, but you can’t published if you don’t get the work in the hands of the right people.

While I’m waiting for the right person to get it, I’m working on other stuff. But the point I’m making is, I wouldn’t be doing it if not for anyone else. I love writing and everything that comes with it, and I’ll never quit doing it. I know, however, with so many people in my corner, that this isn’t a futile fight. That never-ending quest to get published, to be noticed, is so much more worthwhile with friends to back me up.

Hey, I’ve got two stories (at the least! Hopefully many more…) getting published this year. I hope I get the chance to tell you about more stories, and a book, and everything else I can imagine. If not, I know you’ll be happy to hear about it when it finally does come true, because a big part of it belongs to you.

The other day, Neil Gaiman posted a tweet that has ruffled a few feathers. It’s about the Clarion writer’s workshop and how to be a “real” writer you NEED to go there (caps were his). Many, many articles and counter-tweets have defended him saying that he probably didn’t mean it literally (let’s hope), but the point remains.

Do we need to go to workshops/conferences/college programs/etc. to be a “real” writer?

I don’t want to get too far into it, but I’ll just throw my hat in the ring: nope.

Sure, I went to college and majored in creative writing. That’s why I work retail right now. Sigh… Self-loathing aside, that’s about it. I’ve been part of online workshops since then, and boy have I learned. Like, a LOT.

Things I should have learned in high school (and probably did but I didn’t listen), and should have been reiterated in college but most certainly were not. Things that uphold the constantly changing and evolving “rules” of writing. Things that I never would have noticed on my own had no one else looked at the stories, and how to spot them before anyone else does. Things that editors absolutely hate. Things that pretty much all readers hate. Things, things, things!

That said, do I feel like I need to go to one of these conferences or workshops?

I’d love to. Really, why wouldn’t I? But can I afford it? Ha, you’re cute. Remember what I said up there about working retail?

But I learn by doing, by observing, by trial and error, by the one simple thing that helps us all: learning lessons.

So for all the editors/first readers/agents reading this right now—don’t expect perfection from me. You’re getting my best work, my proudest work, and my most confident work that I can possibly give. If you don’t like it, oh well, I’m moving on to the next guy. But if you do, thanks for accepting that not only is my story/novel/whatever enjoyable, but that it’s also coming from what we all are: a human being.