Food for thought

For a rare treat, we have dinner plates of perfectly pan fried fresh caught trout on our laps in front of the fire and watch a movie.  Julie & Julia.

When I was 17, I returned to the states from a year in France where I started as an au pere and found myself diving deep into the depths of the divine world of French cooking. I figured I would be a chef because French cooking was all I really had, all I really knew or could do.  And I learned that wasn’t such a bad thing, either.  Went over pretty well at dinner. Alas, practicality proved stronger than passion, and the need for a job just to pay to eat won over the ability (or rather, lack there of) to pay to learn to cook… In other words, a quick stint waitressing (where I quickly learned I was better cooking food than serving food), then settling into office work won out over the Culinary Institute.

Though I’d bet you my husband is pretty glad I did learn and do love to cook.

But here I am still not a “real” writer.  I’m still not paid to be published. In an attempt to act professional, I even requested a humble stipend from a local magazine that features my work regularly, and I’ve yet to hear a response.  Gee, thanks.

It’s not discipline I lack.  I’m all for the daily early waking allowing me time to sneak in my writing before my “real” day begins.  In those early hours, I managed to finish my first full length manuscript.   It’s been accepted by a literary agent, so I thought I’d be a regular name at Barnes and Nobles by now.  But alas, it is somehow stuck in that literary limbo and not going anywhere.  “Be patient,” he tells me.  Trust.  I’m not patient, and losing confidence.  Not that I had much to begin with.  I’m not doing the “self publish” thing.  Say what you will, “real” writers don’t go there.

So, here I am trying to justify rejections, getting plenty of practice, and thinking more often than not now that my book is never going anywhere and this blog is just my relief and release for, what would you call it, creative expression?  Oh, I am grateful my husband “lets” me take the time to write, but come on, seriously, what the hell am I doing here?  How can I justify the time I’ve put into this writing, and then commit to the next manuscript when I’ve yet to see a penny from all this time spent… playing around with words?

Whatever.  I’m going to write.  Whether you read it or not.  A quiet voice along a raging river.  Words that flow like water in my ever active imagination, but get swept away by the wild winds, never to be heard from again.

16 thoughts on “Food for thought

  1. I enjoy your posts, and especially now that you have gotten your voice back. I read them the moment I see them, and enjoy them. Please keep writing!

    • Monte, Karen & Bob – THANK YOU. Sorry to be battling here another wave of the writing insecurity (as in, why on earth do I do this?)… but thank you for putting up with me :)

  2. Gin, you’re a real writer already. You apply language thoughtfully and creatively. Readers enjoy your work and are inspired by it. It sounds as if you want to be a popular writer, a commercial writer. That’s something else. To be commercially successful you’ll need to write what the masses want to read – sex, murder, mystery, etc plus some flawed hero or heroine who puts the pieces together. That kind of tale. It could be fun to write.

    Meanwhile don’t dismiss self-publishing. It’s a toehold. A writer in my part of the world has just sold tens of thousands of copies of his first novel via a print-on-demand site (he did lots of marketing) leading to the publishing industry taking note.

    And why publish books? Why not commercialise your writing via a blog. If people fall for something as dishonest as the so-called “Pioneer Woman”, won’t they flock to the true, honest and real version?

    • Brilliant words as usual, Julian.

      Hmmmm… yes, I would like to be a commercial writer in the sense that a little recognition (award and/or reward) do feed the ego, which isn’t all bad, is it? But on a practical note, a bit of recognition also give one the justification to continue doing what you love, what you have to do, what you are going to do anyway – but have to sneak in the time to do it because it doesn’t feel “real.” So, if one is a “real” writer, one is “allowed” to sit down and write all morning without feeling guilty… I think.

      But compromise? Write just what would sell not what truly matters to me? I don’t know. On one hand, as you say, perhaps it could be fun. But… depth of honesty does matter.

  3. The accident of finding your blog was through a long road of internet clicks which began with another writer, Pam Houston, who lives fairly near you, in the San Juan Mountains. Your writing is absolutely stunning, rich, and deep. It allows me to enter a lifestyle far from mine, here in flat, tropical Miami.
    Do writing for yourself, it doesn’t have to have an end. Even 1 reader counts. Even impacting 1 life counts. I’m on your email list, and I plan to continue reading. And your photos are Ansel Adams-ish: desolate, enchanting. Any book would need those too: make a photo book:
    here’s a website I found recently I’ll share: http://www.emphas.is/web/guest/discoverprojects?projectID=551
    Your book will get backed for sure.
    Get on Twitter, Gin.
    @drsheriegache

    • Just in from work, and checking e-mails et al.
      Quite honestly, Sherie, you have made my day. Thank you.
      Much to consider, much to ponder, much to figure out what I’m doing and why.
      Yes, you are right – even one person…If we have had the ability to affect one person in a positive way, we can say we have succeeded, can’t we?
      I look forward to checking out that website, but I just don’t know about Twitter. I have never used it or followed anyone on it, and am a little intimidated by it. Thoughts?

      • Twitter is open to the public. Just start reading it at first. I was intimidated too, so I got Twitter for Dummies, Twitter Power, and a couple other books at the library, got the symbols down, and started at a moment when I felt I just had to step in and speak. It opens up the world to you. I have daily contact with people in Africa, NY, Geneva, whereever.

  4. Gin, I too have often thought about why I keep putting my words, my thoughts online, but as others have said above, even if 1 person reads it and it helps/inspires/encourages/entertains 1 person then it is a blessing to them and worth continuing.
    As for self-publishing, many authors (writers, and yes you are a real writer) are e-publishing their works and more of them draw so many fans that publishing companies have contacted the authors to publish them in printed form. Check out current issue of Writer’s Digest http://www.writersdigestshop.com/writers-digest-may-june-2012-pdf/?lid=wdbkwidget0612

  5. Okay, this from a non-writer, but an avid reader. Gin, you are gifted. Stay in the saddle, and know YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Nuff Said!

    • Oh Al… I’m looking for a really profound response, but all I can do is smile. Wish you could see! Thank you… And I realize too, making a difference does matter. Connections with others. Positive. I think you know about that and are focusing your life in that direction as well.

  6. You write because you must. It is a passion within you. It is how you think yourself through, as well as how you express yourself. Most psychotherapists prescribe journals. Why? Because most people are not in touch with their feelings. Consequently, they do not know themselves, and probably don’t make those connections from self to surroundings that are crucial to seeing their lives in true perspective. What is so unique and wonderful about what you write is that there is no wall between you and your reader. You have the guts to share your innermost world with others, and that is rare–and so fascinatingly helpful to others in their journey…

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