I picked up my mail at the post office this morning. The only thing there was a big manila envelope. One I'd been waiting for. Really waiting for. But I had the feeling, if the envelope was there the news wasn't what I'd hoped. I'd been rejected.
It so happened that a writer friend of mine was at the post office too. She asked me how I was and I said, "I just got rejected," because, ya know, she'd understand. And she did. She reminded me of something I sometimes forget. She looked me in the eye and said, "it's about the writing... the rest will come, eventually".
It's about the writing. So simple. So true. I didn't used to write because I cared if it got turned into a book. I wrote because I like to; because I find it relaxing and fun. Because a story is something that I can--I won't go as far as to say control--but it is something that I can create.
Now that I write with the idea of getting published always in the back(sometimes not far enough back) of my mind, for better or worse, it changes the choices I make when writing a story. I'd even venture as far as to say that it at times has even influenced which story I work on. I know that I've improved my stories now that I think of arc, page turns, and emotional payoff. I try hard to make my characters sympathetic. I do my best to make my plots unique.
Truly, I know that writing for publication won't take over my writing. I can't help but write what I write. But, my thinking as a writer has evolved, and it's a good thing. It's still about the writing. I just want mine to be the best it can be.