November 09, 2011

Writing On A Slant - Shirley S. Tye

You've probably heard it said that when a person's handwriting slants downward it's a sign they are sad, tired, or ill. If the writing slants upward, the person is feeling happy, energetic and well.

Lately, my writing has been slanting downwards despite two writing successes this year. My children's middle-grade novel was short-listed in a contest. My friend's novel which I ghost wrote was self-published by my friend. Many who have read her book have enjoyed it; in fact, some have said they couldn't put it down. Both achievements should have been celebrated. But for a year, I've been in a slump; everything I've tried has fallen apart. I'm feeling discouraged and these two "accomplishments" only added to my list of failures. Through my sad eyes, I viewed being short-listed to mean "close but no cigar" and "here's the big looser". And hearing all the compliments about my friend's book made me jealous that my name wasn't on the cover. God forgive me.

Sure I'm feeling discouraged now but I'll be up soon. I still have plans and there are other paths I'd like to explore.

First of all, I'm making corrections and improvements to the novel that was short-listed. Next time it's submitted, it'll be a winner and be published.

Second thing I'm working on is a play. That's a totally new genre for me but I'm learning about playwriting and will boldly try it. This past spring, I had an acting part in a comedy play and was told by many that I did a very good job. That experience taught me what works and what doesn't work for amateur theatre. The director, who I worked under, is also the President of the Executive at the amateur theatre in town. Since he was pleased with my acting, I feel confident that he'll at least read my play. That'll be a big step forward on the learning curve.

This summer, I began work on a romance novel. It's another unfamiliar genre for me but I thought I'd give it a go and see what happens. I like new adventures.

Yes, I'm beginning to feel hopeful. My writing is developing an upward slant again. Praise the Lord!


  1. Awesome about the short-listed novel!

    And... about stepping out into a new area in play-writing. That's exciting.

    We are glad to know you're experiencing the upward slant again!


  2. Shirley - even a short-listed novel is a big accomplishment!!! Many of my writing profs here at UVic list the awards their works have been shortlisted for, as well as the awards they've received. Also, kudos to you for finishing the novel and entering the contest! I've never entered my novels in a contest - they are just sitting on my computer. :) So you're ahead of me!!! Good luck with your new projects... they sound exciting!

  3. Congratulations on your two successes, Shirley! No mean accomplishment in both cases.

    I think it's exciting to try writing new genres. One never knows...maybe something will take off like nothing else has and you'll be launched in a new orbit!


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