Last week was a rough week for me. I failed to get into an MFA program; it seems I have a grammar problem. Written like that, it almost sounds like I’m saying I have a bug problem and need an exterminator.
I’m also losing an online short story contest. A good friend and fellow writer read the story. Well written, except that it had grammar issues, sound familiar?
So, here I am, wholly discouraged and frustrated. I love to write, but I have a weird learning disability that I don’t process information like everyone else. I leave out words and even mix them up, so they wind up in different word order than is typical.
I purchased Grammarly, and it has helped a lot but doesn’t catch every mistake I make.
I think I need an editor, someone who can help me with these mistakes. Help me polish my work for publication, and maybe I can learn a thing or two from them in the process.
I searched for an editor and found one I thought would be a great fit for me. Following her instructions, I sent her an example of my work. She sent a response to me within minutes, turning me down. I read the email, and I had to chuckle even though my confidence level just plummeted.
The lady didn’t commit to a customer unless she knew with a hundred percent certainty it would be a successful partnership. She apologized, but she didn’t feel we would be a good mesh. I just got turned down by an editor.
Great! I not only can’t get accepted into an MFA program, but even an editor just basically told me I couldn’t write either.
This is where I drew on my past experiences. I am 63-years-old, and I have spent a good portion of my life dealing with people telling me what I can’t do.
You won’t get accepted into the military. Guess what I did. You aren’t technically inclined – I was successful in a technical field. Retail isn’t for you – I started as a cashier and rose through the ranks to be Assistant Store Manager.
You won’t make it through college – I have a BA in English and a Master’s in Creative Writing.
I know I am not wired normally. I know I have to work twice as hard to be even half as good as everyone else. What I hate is people putting limitations on me. They did the same to my son, Steven, who has the same learning disability.
He came home frustrated from school crying because there were so many things he was told he couldn’t do. I told him that there were a million things in this world he can’t do that’s true. There are also a million things in this world he can do. He needed to stop worrying about what he can’t do and find the things he could do.
I am following my own advice. I am not good at grammar, that’s obvious. However, I do know people who are and willing to help me.
I am a content writer on Coffee House Writers. There is a lovely lady, Tracie, who has an editing business. She has agreed to help me polish my work. If you need help with your writing, here is her website. Give her a shout out.
The thing to remember is that you have to believe in yourself, no matter what others tell you. You might have to work harder, but you can do anything you want. I learned this the hard way, and I also learned – don’t let other people’s opinions define who you are.
If you want to write then keep writing.