Of Bunnies and Birds and Apples and Poetry

Ever since I learned to crochet, I’ve always loved discovering and trying new crochet patterns. I’ve made sweaters, afghans, and numerous amigurumi patterns including these:

Exp Crochet1

Traveling Tu bunny pattern by Doris Yu

Apple and bird patterns by The Wandering Deer

Exp Crochet2

I had the same love of experimentation back when I first put pen to paper. Case in point: Back in first grade I wrote my first song with a friend.

We don’t wanna play with Jennifer
We don’t wanna play with Jennifer
Because she’s soooo bad.

We don’t wanna
We don’t wanna
We don’t wanna play with Jenn-Jennifer

We don’t wanna
We don’t wanna
We don’t wanna play with Jennifer!

We actually sang this to Jennifer. Yes, I was a brat, I am ashamed to say. Needless to say, this song did not make the Billboard list.

Anyway, besides song writing, over the years I dabbled in other poetic forms (haiku, iambic pentameter even!), and also wrote stage plays and screenplays, short stories, devotionals, graphic novels, novels, newspaper and magazine articles, and product ads. Now, when I say “wrote” the above, I made several failed attempts at some of them. But I at least wanted to try my hand at every form of writing I could, because experimenting was fun. And I netted some sales as a result

So why is it that nowadays, I have steered less toward experimenting and more toward the tried-and-true forms of writing I have done over and over again? I don’t actually expect you to answer that question by the way. I know the answer: fear of rejection. You would think after receiving literally hundreds of them I wouldn’t fear rejection so much. But I realize now how much having a fear-of-rejection mindset has hampered me.

I love how Jill Weatherholt, who is the winner of When in Vanuatu by the way (click here for the interview with the awesome author, Nicki Chen), kept trying to get a story published by Woman’s World. She didn’t let “no” stop her. She kept writing and submitting stories because she loved to do so.

90216397F079 9781647420345_fc-2

I want to return to my writing experiments. I’m in the middle of a novel that needs more of my past pioneering spirit.

What about you? Do you like to experiment?

Author photo and cover courtesy of Nicki Chen. Author photo by LifeTouch. Other photos by L. Marie.

29 thoughts on “Of Bunnies and Birds and Apples and Poetry

  1. I love your crocheted collection. In fact, you gifted me with a clever creature once. I don’t experiment enough, though I have found haiku writing fun lately. I have noticed that creatives like you like to experiment — with words, with baking, with sewing, and some even with visual arts.

    I’m glad you don’t let rejection stop you. I’ve been disappointed often because I set my expectations too high. I think you hit the right attitude when you say ” But I at least wanted to try my hand at every form of writing I could, because experimenting was fun.” That’s the spirit, L. Marie!

  2. Soooo glad my name ain’t Jennifer!
    And yes, I love to experiment, but sometimes I need to be reminded that: “Laura has permission to play”!
    So, L. Marie – I give you permission to play!

  3. I experiment from time to time with my styles and genres. Though, I always go back to my comfort zone because that’s where I feel more relaxed. I think another reason people don’t branch out is that we see authors typically make a name for themselves in one arena. The experimentation is applauded more when it’s done later in the journey than at the beginning, which is different from past eras. Think about how Renaissance artists were praised for being talented in multiple skills from the start. Now, you need to be a famous *insert entertainment profession* to get into the other areas. At least, that’s how things are perceived these days. I think my cynicism is getting stronger.

  4. I love your crocheting. A gift!! I keep thinking about that Stephen King quote from his book On Writing where he says you must not come lightly to the blank page.

  5. Oh…poor Jennifer. Now I’m curious how she reacted to your song. Thanks for the mention and the book, L. Marie. As my father has always told me, I’ve got a hard head which I think is the reason I continue to press forward despite rejection. Thanks to you, both my home and day job office are filled with your sweet crocheted critters. 🙂

    • I know. Poor Jennifer. It was horrible.
      Honestly, I can’t remember what she said or did. But I remember the awful song we came up with.
      Jill, would you prefer paperback or Kindle?

  6. I’m impressed by all the forms of writing you’ve tried. Wow!

    I think I experimented more with art. When I was a child, my mom and grandma taught me drawing, china painting, oil painting, sewing, embroidering, etc. Later I studied Chinese brush painting and batik painting. I came to writing late. Now that I’ve published WHEN IN VANUATU, I’m eager to write some short stories so I can try something different–not exactly experimental. For example, I’ve always written from a single point of view, so on a new story, I’m using a multiple POV.

  7. I like to try new things . . . and I often experiment in the kitchen.
    As for my writing these days? It seems to be MIA.

    Congrats to Jill!
    And to Nicki.

    • My sister-in-law loves to experiment while cooking. Only day, when her mom said, “I experimented” when I complimented her on a dish, I told my sister-in-law, “So that’s where you got that.”

  8. I enjoy experimenting and am, like Jill, tenacious once I decide I’m going to do something. I don’t crochet anymore but I do like to goof around in the garden and the kitchen and with my writing and with my interior design plans.

    • Judging by the photos you’ve shown on your blog, your experimentation has paid off! I hope you have a better time at Lowe’s than you did the last time. (I think it was Lowes. Trying to recall what store you mentioned in a blog post where the worker was rude.)

  9. One of the things I notice when reading older authors is that they write in nearly every genre. The names of people I think of as straight fiction writers pop up frequently in anthologies of SF or horror, or suddenly I come across a mystery novel of theirs. Most writers today seem to get pigeon-holed into one genre, maybe by publishers demanding they stick to the tried and true? In my experience, writers who are good at one genre are frequently good at the others, so I’m all for a bit of diversification!

    • I am too! I wish pigeonholing didn’t happen. Really famous authors and some celebrities get somewhat of a pass on it though. You hear about comedians writing picture books and novels.

  10. Congratulations on winning the book, Jill! I’m late to the party, but I’m with you on the fear of rejection. It’s so tempting to stick to already successful formulas, and to take on projects that come to me rather than writing something I love and trying to find someone in publishing who loves it too.

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