Since high school I’ve wanted to write. It took me a long time to actually do it. I passed through several complex stages of touching writing, without doing it.
I majored English at university, and started a PhD right after that, hoping that theoretical literature will be a good enough contribution to literature in general. Teaching literature was another such good contribution. Somewhere on the way, it turned out theoretical stuff didn’t bring any joy at all. At a certain point, I felt more and more inept, without really being so. I couldn’t handle Homi K. Bhabha and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, nor the writings of Tsvetan Todorov or Julia Kristeva (check them out, you’d be amazed). To make the long story short, I found out I was not able to meet my mentor’s academic expectations. Besides, a novel or even a short poem have much more value to it than any theoretical piece on literature. If a single soul reads it and remembers it for life, or has their life changed by it, that would be much more helpful. I tried my hand in a couple of short stories, but didn’t like them at all. All that time I used to write poetry. It’s much easier than prose, as most poets would agree. Yet, I’ve never considered poetry to be real writing.
In a new attempt to get involved in literature turned to translation of fiction. That went on for several years, and then I signed up for a Twitter account, because I wanted to help my deteriorating official translation business. Twitter didn’t help my business, but brought me to the Poetic Asides community with the regular Wednesday prompt and the Tuesday poetry chats (remember those #poettues?). The blog format of Poetic Asides where all participants commented in a single thread was very suitable for a novice like me, as I would read through the whole conversation and just a couple of months later it was November, so I took part in the two major projects of my new life. I did November PAD and NaNoWriMo very successfully. Then, I discovered I could write. Apparently, I needed a longer form to find that out. Sadly, long forms need much time, which I never have. I became more or less a regular at Poetic Asides, even if only for checking on the conversation and a poem or two.
Last April, when Robert announced his planned Platform-Building Challenge, I was ready for that. In fact, it came as a miracle, just when I had realized how much I needed that. So many times during the two past years I had heard/read about Platform and how important it is, that I was starting to feel my failures are partially due to the lack of one. I did my best to follow the challenge and some of the steps were easy, some were more demanding. Overall happy with the outcome, I got involved in the #MNINB April-platform community and just rode the wave as it came. Since then, I have been included in the Wordsmith Studio project, have had my Bio and pic there, wrote some guest posts for the blog and I have been participating in discussions and challenges. I must admit that sometimes I’m too slow, but still, I am there. Over this past year I have been working towards a new Master’s degree, and that consumed most of my spare time, as I also work and have a very young child. Those “side activities” have been getting in the way of writing and following as much as I have wanted. Some members of the WSS (as we call it now) have been more active and have taken initiative to make a website and set it up so we, as a community, may use it. Members there have been very encouraging and supportive in everything and finally, I am among like-minded people who don’t actually care that I can’t cook well or am easily intimidated by perky shop assistants. Smiles… They have set up a group on Goodreads, hold regular chats on Twitter, too. The only places I can participate, though, are the FB/G+ and the WSS site itself. And that is more than enough, honestly speaking.
Since last April I have been bold enough to submit some poetry and got a couple of acceptances. I wrote a short story for the Snake Oil Cure magazine and they published it and then I had a short story of mine published without even submitting it. Linda Hatton was so kind to like it and send me a message about that.
The wonderful thing about the WSS community is that we are multi-functional. We have people for everything. There are photographers, designers, people who know about “site hits” and traffic, among other things. What we all have in common is that we all WRITE.
After I completed the challenge I found out that I don’t fail for lack of a platform. I fail for lack of persistence, SEO-team, advertisement, marketing strategy and so on. Of course, talent is also need for success. I found out I had a pretty much precise idea what a platform is, I simply don’t have the resource to build it properly. Since I’ve been going on my own snail speed, I am happy to part of that something larger that supports me and moves me to progress. Team-work really matters and that is the most valuable achievement of last year’s challenge. I don’t know if anyone expected that, and I guess Robert is glad to see our progress as a stand-alone group. I hope that is to continue and shape into something beautiful and beneficial to all.
Happy anniversary, Not-Bobbers!
This is another of a series of anniversary posts this month, and here is a list of links to each one of the previous ones, all of them personal, curious, special and worth reading. Numbers before the names designate the date in April the authors chose. Names are clickable links. Will open in new tab 🙂
1) Kiril Kundurazieff
3) Veronica Roth
4) J.lynn Sheridan
5) Elizabeth (Beth) Saunders
6) Sopphey Vance
7) Melanie Marttila
8) Heather Button
10) Gerry Wilson
12) Emily E. McGee
13) Anne Kimball
14) Khara House
15) Barbara Morrison
18) Mona AlvaradoFrazier
19) Jeannine Everett
20) Linda G Hatton
24) Claudine Jaboro
25) Carol Early Cooney
Out of the list: Kasie Whitener