The Paris Review has started this new column they call “Feminize Your Canon,” which looks like the best idea I’ve seen lately in support of women’s writing. There is a but, though.
It depressed me like nothing else. If you are an unsuccessful women writer, it will depress you too. I honestly didn’t need help in this direction. My personal desk drawer (just an expression, although I could rename my computer folder where I collect all the finished work) is filled to bursting with little malformed, rejected monsters who do a good enough job of reminding me that I am crap at what I do. So now I don’t know if I need, on top of that, to read these biographies and start identifying with all the unappreciated women who ever dared to follow a literary career.
The first article of this series is on Olivia Manning, written by Emma Garman. Now I don’t recall having read anything of Olivia Manning’s, but this piece makes her sound like a very hopeful, confident writer who never got, and here is the thing, what “she thought she deserved.” Emma Garman doesn’t really make it clear if she personally believes Manning deserves a place in the canon, but only that Manning herself was very confident that she merited recognition. Which obviously never really came.
So, yeah, abandon all hope ye who enter.
I think that publishing in general is a depressing place and the odds of getting published as a woman are not advantageous, so the best way to increase your chances is to take more chances, write more and keep putting it out there! Something will stick – it’s basic probability. You are not crap, Lori! I believe in you, why don’t you?
Thank you, Rachel! That is a perspective that really helps. I’m in such a bad place right now in regard to my writing, it’s just … I could use all the advice on how to manage to carry on 😘
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