Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jewel could do it, so why can't I?

I finally finished a manuscript! I read it, proofed it, edited, re-edited, over-edited... and I finally finished. It only took me ten years to get to the point that I would actually show it to someone else and I got raving reviews.
I was so excited to see that someone besides myself could appreciate my endless wit and talent with a pen. I was basically branded a genius by the person who reviewed it. My sister is the greatest.
So what? I had my sister read it. If I can make her laugh I'm sure the rest of ya'lls will love it too. I stupidly gave my manuscript to a handful of selected family members and friends and they all thought I rocked the shit out that manuscript, so I decided to send it off to my old high school English teacher. Yes, I realize that is desperate and weird. I called him up and his voicemail at the school picked up and I think I left him a message something to the effect of this, "Hey Mr. Perry, well, I guess that's weird to call you that now, so, Jeff. How's it been going? I was just calling you out of the blue, after not talking to you in close to a decade to ask you a favor. Would you mind editing my manuscript? Thanks! I'll send it your way and call you in a few weeks to see what you think."
So, I sent the manuscript to him and was expecting raving reviews from him as well, I mean, he did teach me like an eighth of what I know about the English language. When I called him, his response was a little different than what I had expected.
"Hey Shawna! I'm so flattered you would send your manuscript up here for me to read over. So, you have kids now? Where are you now? Anyway, I briefly perused your manuscript and it looks like you have quite a bit of prose mixed together with poetry so I think your first priority is to define your audience."
I remember seeing one of Jewel's memoirs at the dollar store a few years ago and she had all kinds of prose mixed together with poetry. Why does she get away with it? So, I have to be an ex-Alaskan homeless person turned pop star to write the way I want to?

I was glad he looked it over for ten minutes before making snap judgements on my style. Damn it. My audience is just going to have to adapt.
I'll have to find a new editor. Maybe my brother will want to read it.


  1. hi there!
    the post that you've commented its about me and my friends cycling at mexico city. We've been photographed by a press photographer and the pictures appeared in a mexican newspaper, that's all! thanks for passing by and comment at my post.

  2. Bastard! You'd think he would be a little more understanding to your writing style, considering he taught you and all. He's just bitter. You know what they say...those that can't, teach.

  3. Don't pay any attention to the naysayers. Follow your heart and do what you love. The rest will take care of itself.

    I found this in case you are interested. Maybe move a few copies on your own and get a little cash while you get the word out. Who knows. I haven't tried it yet (all my writing looks like a third grade horror story), but I have been mulling it over.


  4. Thanks for the link and the encouraging words!


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