Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Writer, reconstructed.

The process of being a struggling writer can be…well…a struggle, and in time one of two things happens: Either we crash and burn, overwhelmed and defeated by rejection and the daunting odds, or we stubbornly continue to wage the good fight and throw our bruised and bloodied egos back into the fray, over and over.

I've noticed that for myself this process takes the shape of a series of slow climbs, during which I learn a lot and believe I'm making progress, followed by a precipitous downward spiral of doubt that ends in an ego implosion/explosion of atomic bomb proportions.

But then, as the mushroom cloud slowly dissipates, a curious thing happens. While I languish in the ashes of my writing dreams, deep within me I feel the mysterious urge to create—the irresistible drive to make something from nothing—quicken to life again. The writer within me is reborn and rises from the old husk, stronger and hopefully wiser from knowledge gained in failure. Each incarnation brings me closer to where I want to be, so there's profit from the pain, but it can be an excruciating process.

I'm in the throes of just such a rebirth now and as I've considered this odd metamorphosis I have been thinking of the way in which we choose names for ourselves on these internet sites, blogs and forums, etc. I call myself Bookworm, a name hastily chosen but which fits nevertheless. I love books. But as I contemplate this crazy thing called writing and how I personally deal with it, I wonder if another name might have been more appropriate. Phoenix, perhaps. A bit too brazen? Maybe, but then I have seen cheesier.

So my question is, if you picked a name for yourself that summed up your writing experience, what would it be?

13 comments:

Deb Salisbury said...

I called myself Magic Seeker. Like yours, the name was chosen in haste - and confusion, since I hadn't joined *any* online group before - but it fits my writing goals. I seek the magic, in my writing and in my genre.

Ink said...

Hmmmm... I'm not sure what I would pick. I chose a nickname, much like Deb, in haste and confusion. Because that was apparently what you did on the internet. Odd names for all! No Johns! No Bills! No Mikes! Excruciatrix, however, is quite good. So, lemming-like, I felt I needed a name. So I took my store name, Inklings. Which I picked because of the Tolkien/Lewis writers' group, on account of Tolkien really introducing me to reading and writing when I was a boy. Plus the idea of word gremlins. And I can live with it, so it's okay. I'm not sure I could think of anything better... I'd probably just use my real name. I've grown into Ink as a nickname, but it always felt sort of odd identifying myself under a strange pseudonym. Okay, yeah, I'm lame.

Bookworm1605 said...

Excruciatrix is available, you say. Hmmm...

Ms Kitty said...

I chose to be "Miss Kitty" back when I was running a bar for my family (in my wasted youth.) Since I'm married it's Ms Kitty.

With my writing I've been a plodder. A work horse creating draft after draft. Polishing and polishing - though some of it wasn't worth polishing.

I've been comfortable as Ms Kitty. Yet should I be published, I'm going to have to choose to write either with my name or a pen name.

I should be thinking about it, as there is some interest in my first novel.

Ink said...

Hey, congrats on the interest. Keep us in the loop...

Ms Kitty said...

Sure, I sent in a query, got a request back for 3 chapters.

They expressed some interest in the characters - I clarified a point. They asked me to cut 1/3 of the first three chapters and re-submit.

The editors said they were excited about the characters and were looking forward to the rewrite.

It's another step forward. I'm thrilled!

Ink said...

My fingers are so crossed for you that they look like pretzels.

Ms Kitty said...

Thanks!

Stephanie Faris said...

Insanely Optimistic. I think that's the best name I can think of for it.

Bookworm1605 said...

If you make the sale you can change your name to M$$ Kitty.

Ms Kitty said...

M$ Kitty - Love that!

If I don't stop blogging and get to work - I'll never get it done.

BTW This blog isn't the problem, mine is.

still alive said...

I don't usually comment, merely spy, but I got my name from two things: one living with and thru 3 bouts of breast cancer; AND because Ink has kept me from suicide innumerable times--this last time with a wonderful gal I met "Other Lisa" on a AW--when I got 3 rejections in less than 2 hrs. (and 2 the day before!)Then I was so flat I couldn't pick up the gun or swallow the pills.
But Ink came through--again, and so I'm Still Alive

Ink said...

Hey, what are friends for, right?