Confession Time: I have the worst time recognizing someone. I’m actually better at remembering names, well, sometimes, and also when it comes to working in the café where I earn my living until I make the NYTBSL (I’ve been working there for a while), remembering what the regular customers eat. I’m not sure whether this failure to see a person and have it click in my brain is a cognitive disorder of some kind or whether I have this deep-seated phobia of making a fool of myself over mixing up people in my mind that it backfires on me. I was chatting with a woman during the coffee hour after church today and mentioned this dilemma and joked that I can’t recognize myself in the mirror at times . . . and began to wonder how this relates to my writing.
Maybe this malady is useful for a writer. It can be liberating.
Are you cramming yourself into a writer’s corner, with the consequences of limited or stilted writing, because you’re not seeing the writer in you wanting to explore a new direction?
Or, is your story suffering because you’re writing what everyone else is writing and it’s not full of life because you’re failing to see your true reflection in the mirror of the person who wants to write darker or funnier or hybrid (space aliens on a Christian mission?)?
Are you seeing an exhausted, emotionally strained person in the mirror that keeps getting rejection after rejection . . . but rather will continue to put up with the dark eye circles and pinched neck pain because she keeps nurturing her craft, refusing to give up?
I see all of these reflections staring back at me from the mirror. Do you?
You know what? Good for us!
It’s not over until the fat lady stops hearing those little story-telling voices in her head.
Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction.
Elaine’s blog, Everyone’s Story (http://elainestock.blogspot.com), has an awesome international viewership that enjoys weekly author interviews and inspirational stories.
Elaine was a 2011 semi-finalist in the prestigious Genesis Contest in the contemporary fiction division. She is also active on Twitter (Twitter@ElaineStock).
Her first short story was published on Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Click here to read.