A few quick thoughts about writing and manuscripts

I know a couple of you have written and I haven’t responded. I promise to do so shortly. But tonight I’m really, really tired, and I don’t have the energy to go figure out who I have and haven’t answered.

But something interesting happened today.

This morning I cranked out a biography, publishing credits and table of contents for a poetry manuscript of some 70+ pages. Then I drove to the post office to make sure it got postmarked within the competition deadline.

I chatted briefly with the nice woman behind the counter of my small local post office, explaining my concerns about the postmark. She told me how she would ensure that it was readable, and blah, blah, blah.

Then she looked at the address and said, “Oh, you’re a writer?” I admitted I was guilty as charged.

“That’s really exciting!” she said. And I didn’t know how to respond. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it in those terms. Mostly, writing is hard work interrupted by feelings of immense satisfaction. She saw the blank look on my face, I’m sure, and added, “At least, I think it’s really exciting.”

Some years ago, a friend of mine who writes really terrible poetry (I can say that because I know she’ll never see this) said, “Well, you may be an author because you have a published book, but you’re a writer because you write.” I thought that was an interesting distinction. And true.

I hope I made some appropriate remark to the post office lady, but to tell you the truth, I was so taken aback by her enthusiasm that I have no idea what I said. But I do think that I’ll keep going to the little post office to mail my stuff in the future. I want to share her excitement in my poor publishing efforts.

At any rate, the manuscript, as they say, is in the mail, with an appropriate postmark. I have let the universe know that I’d really like to win this competition, and in about 10 weeks I should know how well the universe listened. Maybe it’s like the old saw: God answers every prayer; you just may not like the answer.

There’s much more to say, about berries and gardens and birds and far more important things than poetry manuscripts, but it will have to wait for another day.

4 Responses to “A few quick thoughts about writing and manuscripts”

  1. Philip Ferris Says:

    For the time that you shared abou you poetry script there was nothing more important.

    I think the idea of being a writer is exciting. I know about the periods of self doubt, of sheer terror some feel for the naked page but for all that I think it exciting.

    As a writer think of all the adventures you cann have, the places you can go and that’s without leaving your desk/favourite chair.

    I have two books I periodically dip into:

    the autobiography of sorts of Nikos Kazantzakis – Report to Greco http://www.theplaka.com/literature/kazant.htm (he wrote Zorba the Greek for those who don’t know);


    John Steinbeck’s “Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters” http://www.steinbeck.org/EastEden.html

    they are accounts tht stir my excitement.

  2. mklekacz Says:

    Phil, those both sound interesting. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Writing is just something that I have to do. I require it.

  3. jackiesgarden Says:

    Sounds like your poetry nourishes you, just as your garden does. How wonderful to be able to do the things you love and need. You are blessed

  4. mklekacz Says:

    And it only took me about 40 years to get to this place. . .

    But Jackie, you’re right. I’m truly blessed at this point in my life, and believe me, I’m not taking it for granted.

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