This Space Available

I’m considering having this phrase tattooed on my forehead, though I guess if I really thought about it, that’d be silly. I’d be tired of it in a few weeks and then I’d have to go through all that expensive laser-removal stuff, which is probably not covered by my medical insurance. And really, who’s got extra cash rolling around for laser tattoo removal? Plus the time off from work and…

What? Focus, you say? You want to know what brought me to the tattoo idea? Well, I think it’s because I’ve been reading lately. Yep, reading. Blogs, books, Twitter feeds, Facebook links, excerpts, manuscripts…you name a method of conveying ideas and I’ve probably looked at it in the last three weeks. And what I’ve found is shocking, simply shocking. Here’s my discovery:

There are a LOT of excellent, and even amazing, writers out in the world.

I’m not talking about a handful, a collection, or even a small village of writers who can make you sit up and take notice. I mean A LOT, a lot. Like thousands… maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands. (And I’m pretty sure that’s more than a handful, though all my math classes were in the Dark Ages.) All of them have a story to tell, a voice to be heard, a way of sharing that is unique to them.

And boy, oh boy, doesn’t that just bite.

Okay, not really. But it does pose something of a hurdle for those of us who would like to have our voices heard, too. How do we rise above? How do we stand out? How do we stop eating carbs when toast is the most delicious thing in the world? (Ignore that last one…I haven’t eaten yet this morning and I’m distracted-whackded.)

We can feel brainless and flog ourselves (see reference to tattoo above). Or we can make ourselves better. Keep going. Take classes. Go to workshops. Attend conferences. Network. Read. Buy books. Enter contests. Keep going. Keep submitting. Read some more.

And, most of all, glory in the work of these wonderful writers. Enjoy the beauty of our language and how each person can make their own individual voice heard using the exact same words, but in slightly different combinations. We, as aspiring amazing writers, can hone our own voices while still appreciating the voices of others.

So it’ll be a ‘No’ on the tattoo. And a ‘No’ on the toast, too. Dammit.

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8 Responses

  1. Did you write this just for me? Loved it!

  2. Yes, it’s always all about you. 🙂 Thank you. The key is perseverance, I’ve been told. And told. And told. *sigh* Now I have to stop sighing and whinging and get busy!

  3. What a fun post, and yes, you could be writing about me, too. I want toast! And to break out of the writing pack. And to keep my brain intact. And thanks to Ginger for leading me here – I’ll be back.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer. Seriously, toast could solve everyone’s problems. I just have to figure out a toast-themed book and I’d be on it like butter on toast. 🙂

  4. It takes 10 years and a million words (give or take) to become an overnight sucess.

    • I hear you. And it seems like I’ve written a million words, though most of them have been whining about how hard it is. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

  5. words to live by, Julie. Super post!

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