I’m a first grade teacher. Have been for almost 20 years now. Every year, one of our biggest concerns are “bubble” kids. Bubble kids don’t live in a bubble–they are those kids who are on a razor-edge fence. Bubble kids either float up to promotion and success, or they float down to retention.
We work with all our kis, but bubble kids are especially critical–they’re almost there, but just not quite. Letting them fall back instead of floating up can be a teacher’s worst nightmare.
I decided earlier today (again, but I never labeled myself such) that I’m a bubble writer–and have been for most of my life.
My first story, “Ricky and Tricky’s Christmas,” hung on the bulletin board atMt.Carmel Elementary for several weeks. I sold an awful poem (I should never rhyme!) to some kids’ magazine that only purchased. Made $1.50.
The bubble part is that I still remember those successes–and brag about them.
I have published since–most notably sheerly on name recognition, to McCall’s (when it was the McCall’s.) A number of other national publications.
Got a few of those “good” rejections. Those of you who submit understand that receiving a personal rejection, or better, a request to see your work, is the IV needle that keeps your writer’s body going until you get well–until you get your work “out there.”
To this day, I remember that Avononce considered Love’s Lasting Song (my initial foray into POD as a mid-list purchase. I lost on that, as I have often since–but oh, the floating feeling!
Bubble writers are not bad writers. While recognizing that anyone can improve, I’m totally confident about my writing. I can write.
But like those bubble kids, I just can’t understand what the world wants. Yet. (And I swear I knew that word before I watched The Blind Side four hundred and forty three times because I don’t cry enough over everything else.)
Bubble writers might not all want publication. But all bubble writers want to be known for their ability to choose words that make a difference to someone, somewhere. \
Rejection, the events of our lives, a gray day–a lot can make us fall earthward, away from the high created by knowing that your words did exactly what they were written to do.
But bubbles that don’t break, rise. Really. I see it every year with my bubble kids.
Whether you want publication or write only to put thoughts on paper–for whatever reason you write–if you’re not quite where you want to be–let 2012 be the year you float up, that your writing takes off at last and does just what you expect.
And to writers who are more the ‘G/Ts’ of the literary word than bubbles–my sincere admiration and respect. Being able to float is Goal 1–being able to soar up there on those magical carpets of word, surrounded by characters you create that no one forgets–that’s the ultimate goal, for bubble writers and die-hard readers alike.