Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Well, I have received an official rejection on my prayer book manuscript. That makes two unpublished manuscripts for me -- a book of Lenten meditations and this one, a prayer book for Catholic church musicians, tied to the seasons of the church year. In the interest of full disclosure, I will also say that I have not done anywhere near a full-court press to get them published. In fact, it was a lot closer to a token effort.

Here's the problem: I really want to write, but those aren't what I want to be known for. I mean, I'm actually quite proud of them, and for the prayer book especially, I get a lot of positive feedback. If I could get it published it would give me a warm fuzzy feeling of pride and all that. And I still truly believe there is a market for it. But I don't feel fired up enough to throw myself into a dedicated effort to get it published.

It's just that in my heart, I want to write fiction. Fiction is what I read for pleasure and I LOVE a good story. When I was growing up, I seemed creative. Even now, I think people consider me a good storyteller. But I feel like life has knocked the creativity right out of me. I have spent so much of my adult life ghostwriting President's messages in corporate newsletters and trying to put a bonnet on truly boring "news" being released to the media, that I seem to have lost the spark of how to start to make up a story. Get me going on a story I know, and I can tell it with style and verve. But ask me to create characters from scratch and devise a story line for them to follow, and I stare at a blank screen.

So I'm just assessing my options at this point. I may still submit the prayer book elsewhere, especially since our church choir director feels so strongly that the market exists. But I'd like to find a way to rediscover creativity -- to break out of the mundane and make up stuff like I did when I was 11. I think if I could do that, it would also go a long way toward making me feel unaffected by age!

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