Friday, May 4, 2012
The Joy of Science Writing
When I started writing publically last year, it was with pressure that had built up over, say, 30 years or so. I simply didn't send my best work out to be read by anyone other than my fellow investigators, some academic journal editors, and grant foundations. And that work, although I'd like to think of it as somewhat creative, wasn't peppered with stories that give me (and readers) joy.
Joy. I have a dear friend whose name means the most pure joy you can think of. Many things can bring about joy. Certainly, a husband and five kids can bring joy (along with a few other emotions). So can friends and colleagues. Creating something out of nothing is a joyous process, and when recognized by writers and editors with oodles of experience....well...you feel light and shaky and just a little bit vindicated, yet humbled because the other recognized writers are giants.
On December 5, 2011 I received a letter saying that my story Tinea Speaks Up--a Fairy Tale was chosen to be in The Best Science Writing Online 2012. Here is a review of the anthology by Library Journal. As others have clarified, the stories selected for this anthology are not THE best, but some of the best stories that were picked from a nominated pool. The book is well under way and should be out in September.
I must have read that letter over 30 times until I believed it. Then I blinked. What? Me?
Well, you know what? You and all your support helped give me confidence to write it in the first place. Thank you for reading. Thank you Bora for encouraging me to send in the story. Many of the writers in this anthology are also fantastic sources of information and encouragement for writers. Please look them up and read, read, read. Be inspired.
So that you have more to read, I am preparing more posts, but slowly. Many other things, including writing and submitting some short stories elsewhere, preparing an infectious diseases presentation, working on projects for my day job, and of course, my family are at the front of the queue for now. But I am currently reading and building up that pressure again; stay tuned. More joy (hopefully) to come.