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
13 thoughts on “Riding the Wave”
I remember those days at PA when we commented on a single thread. Those were the good old days! Congratulations on your accomplishments this year, Mariya! We all have our own race/journey to run in our own time and there’s no right or wrong way to run.
Mariya, Thank you so much for this piece. It is wonderful! I am so glad that you are part of the group. You are right – it is great to be part of the whole but be able to take this at your own pace.
~clink~ of a glass to year two!
What a journey you’ve had & how lovely that success is coming your way now. I agree about the pace–there’s no way to do it all at once; we just have to do what we can when we can. And thanks for including the links to the other posts. Cheers!
Mariya, isn’t it amazing that we are sharing writing and conversation and laughter on opposite sides of the world?! Thank you for being part of the group. Congrats on all you’ve achieved this year, and many wishes for success in the future!
Mariya! Thanks for your honestly. I really relate to the failing due to lack of persistence. And thanks for the link back!
It took me a second to figure out what “outside the list” meant — HA! Guess we all have a little rebel lurking inside us somewhere. I wasn’t on the official April list but couldn’t resist writing an anniversary post.
So glad you’re here and on G+ and on FB with all of us. Your voice is important and your work is awesome. Happy Anniversary, my friend!
Thank you for sharing your story, Mariya. It is great to be part of a group whose members are so generous with their knowledge and supportive of our individual journeys as writers. Happy Anniversary!
Happy anniversary, Mariya! Congratulations on finding your voice, submitting to magazines, and getting acceptances over this past year. Best wishes!
I can so relate. I thought I needed an MA in Creative Writing to be “legit.” What I really needed was a little self-confidence which my advisor stripped me of, completely. Graduate (and post-graduate) work can get in the way of writing rather than fostering a love for it. Post-modernism makes you feel, after a while, like you shouldn’t even bother writing a word, because, in the end, it’s all meaningless. Ah well, that’s behind you and a wonderful wordsmithing future awaits you. Thanks for sharing 🙂
This blog post was beautifully expressed, nicely written. You have a lovely background in academics. So glad that you have experimented long enough to find a writing form that best suits you – – poetry. I think that is what social media is all about, just experimenting with different things until you find something you like and that something likes you back.
I wish you so much success in your writing, master’s degree, and in your personal pursuits. Thank you so much for being so supportiver of me and my writing efforts!
You have had success in writing even with your busy schedule. Congratulations on those. Thanks for sharing your platform building journey with us. I enjoyed reading your essay and I enjoy your company in WSS. I always know where to find a great haiku. Much success to you in the future, Mariya.
You have been a wonderful light in the group. I can relate with the feeling that you’re not at the same pace as everyone else in terms of grp participation. I had to take a few months off for several reasons, but I find that as I get back in touch with people, they are as open as ever. I hope we don’t lose that great asset the grp has in that people can participate as much as their life allows. You seem to have your plate full, so I understand your pace. I think everyone does. However, you have been able to keep up with your writing & getting published. Congratulations!
Happy Anniversary to you! And we’ll see each other around on FB & G+! 🙂
Thank you, my dear friends, for your patience to read through the whole text, for your kind words and for your unfailing friendship and support over the past year.
Happy Anniversary to all!
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