The blog has started to bring me attention in unexpected ways. People have started to acknowledge the blog with awards and have been asking to interview me about how I successfully created the blog.
The question is confusing to me perhaps because of the simplicity of the answer. I had an idea and worked at it. I took a lot of rejection. I cried and tried a little harder. I kept working. That’s it. Nobody else was really interested in this idea at the beginning. But I was, so I gave up other things and worked at it. Now other people are finding it intriguing and inspirational as I did from the very beginning. But back then I was all alone.
This reminds me a lot of when my kids were little. I did things a little differently. I didn’t let them watch Disney movies when they were two years old, I didn’t buy them barbies or toy guns which all of their friends had. But I bought a lot of books. By the time they got to kindergarten, both kids could read very well. Parents asked me in astonishment what I had done. “I read to them, ” I said. No one had ever been interested in my child rearing approach before. I was the lone voice at playgroup in objecting to Cinderella. Now they wanted me to offer advice.
The lone voice has stuck with me over the years. Just last week I was sitting in an education class designed to train student teachers. The instructor was screaming at us in an angry, aggressive manner while explaining to us that it is essential that we remain professional at all times. Apparently I was the only one to see the irony in this situation or at least the only one to speak out about it.
Writing nonfiction has brought up many of these same issues over the last few years. I’ve felt like I have had a strong sense of what I wanted to accomplish, even if it hasn’t been done before. Yet while most of my rejections begin with “your writing is strong” it’s the inevitable “but” that follows that I haven’t been able to shake. I envisioned being outstanding in the field, but I now must admit to feeling only like I’m out standing in the field. I haven’t given up, not completely, although I have found myself on an extended hiatus over the last few months. I wonder if my new adventure in a classroom will bring any insight to my writing life. I’m anxious to incorporate nonfiction on a daily basis and see how I can play around with the curriculum. I’m fighting the urge to look up lesson plans on the Internet for some of my favorite nonfiction. I know the best thing I can do is to figure it out for myself.