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Permission to Write

July 21, 2011

Nothing frees us quite so much as our own sense of self permission, and yet that’s the hardest thing to get. Maybe this is part of the logical side of organized religion, first person immediate permission. But is it enough? Will it satisfy? Here’s the twist for writers. No matter who you are, you are dependent upon the “permission” of a vast group of people you’ve never met, that you perhaps wouldn’t even want to meet, and yet, your sense of success, of promise cannot be maintained without them–the Other–your reader. One of the best moments of my writing life was getting a fan letter from a stranger! A huge surge of permission–permission to believe in myself, to write more, to continue down the stylistic road I had headed. A thousand mothers could not have competed with that one lone stranger who took the time to write about what had touched her in my poetry.


But before we get to fan letters, we have to get published in the first place. We have to court, connive, conspire and compete in a huge sea of talent laden fish of which we are one small minnow. Or maybe salmon, that color looks better on me. It can be more daunting than waiting for love. Here’s the answer, do whatever you have to do to write without thinking about that end goal. Ha! you say. Impossible. Not if you take control. Because taking control is where permission comes from. Take control and say this: WHEN I’m finished with this novel I will look for an agent and find one and find a publisher. BUT if I don’t succeed there, and the chances are that I won’t, then I will do it myself. I will start my own indie publishing company, or I will join a co-op of writers who have already done this (and believe me there are many many successful writers doing this). Give yourself permission to succeed by allowing yourself to step away from depending upon the fearful big five publishing companies who frankly don’t want to publish you and never will. They are yesterday, you are tomorrow. You and I will make the future of writing about writing, not about permission.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2011 9:10 am

    Too true Galer and thanks for another interesting post. x

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