I was reading The Swivet last Friday and saw this:
It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you’re in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you’re dealing with someone who can’t.
(By the way, here’s a simple way to find out if you’re a writer. If you disagree with that statement, you’re not a writer. Because, you see, writers are also readers.)
It was right after a trip to the mailbox where I received my latest fiction story rejection. Per usual, I got a personal note. They liked the premise but didn’t think there was enough conflict or at least not a “big problem for the main character to deal with/solve”. Apparently, the moral ambiguity involved in selling terminally ill individuals as though they were shoes doesn’t count as conflict which is, of course, not the point. If I have to explain the conflict, I failed. It’s that simple.
And by the way, I don’t disagree with the quote at all. It’s something I struggled with as a teacher and more recently in writing groups. Which is why I agree with the other quote by writer/director Josh Olson on the importance of being honest rather than breaking your brain to find something positive or encouraging or worst of all – nice – to say.
I think a lot about the idea of focus. What do I write best? I should be putting my energy there. Right?