Friday, May 6, 2011

Right Profession, Wrong Job?

Maybe I missed my true calling.

I mean I’ve been mildly successful in my writing career … over the past 20 years. Yikes, put that way, maybe I’m misusing the term “career” here. Hmmmmm, let’s say that I’ve had my good moments. Front page stories in small local papers. Magazine articles. Travel articles. A bunch of short stories published about 5 years ago. So, okay, not horrible but not great.

However, today I received word that my dear dear friend Mai just got her short story accepted … by someone who actually pays a cash! And believe me, finding payment for short fiction is an incredibly shrinking market. So, Whoopee and Hooray for Mai!

Oh wait, why do I care? Because according to her, I was instrumental in the editing/critiquing/formation of the piece. Yeah, I read it twice and gave a volume of feedback over the past month, but during all that I didn’t really feel that I was helping much. I was simply stating the obvious and helping her focus more on the core of her story. She did all the work. I merely carped from the sidelines. Yet, she insists I deserve some credit, so I humbly accept.

My editing skills have always been good – better for other people’s writing than my own, of course. That’s how these things work. In general, I tend to be lousy on noticing obvious grammatical errors, but have a knack for plot and characters and boiling down a story to its bare bones. Or so I’ve been told. But now it’s nice to see a little reward for all that, even if it’s not my own.

Of course, Mai deserves it. Her stories are so weirdly amazing. Helping her out is a rare privilege and tends to make me want to write better and more and deeper. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right

Now, though, I can’t help but think that maybe I should have been an editor all these years. Maybe I’ve missed out on my true destiny. Ah … the man behind the woman who gets all the glory. Yeah, I could deal with that.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for Mai! :)

    Inspiration comes from so many unexpected places. I think that's what makes it so ... well, inspiring!