When James Joyce was 40 years old he published Ulysses, and nearly ninety years later on this day, June 16th, millions around the world celebrate Bloomsday. Today, at 43, I finally became a published literary writer at Shaking Like a Mountain with a short creative nonfiction piece titled The Clear Monkey.
In my defense: 1) I had never submitted a work to a literary journal before this year. 2) I’m not exactly James Joyce.
I was inspired to write this piece a few months ago while taking a creative-writing course taught by published memoir author Sara Taber at The Writer’s Center. I had also just read Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir by the remarkable author Sue William Silverman. (I’m doubly blessed this month; I’ll get to meet Sue shortly as she’s an instructor in the MFA program I’m about to begin.)
Regular readers know I’m having to learn how to share myself in my writing. I certainly did that with this piece. But Sue writes of the importance of a creative nonfiction writer being true to his or her story, so I did my best to follow that advice.
I’m told it also takes bravery to submit your work to a publisher, to risk rejection and disappointment. I’m not sure what that makes me for the first 43 years of my life, but I’ll gladly accept the “bravery” label now.
Are you putting yourself out there, both in your writing and through submissions? What is your story?