The Last of the Wooly Mammoths (I Hope!)

A long time ago I wrote a story, first entitled “The Last of the Wooly Mammoths.” In my opinion, the story was very lame. Iffy, at best. It was all about how a boy wanted a wooly mammoth, but in the country the king had outlawed all hunting of mammoths. And so, wouldn’t you know it, a random wooly mammoth just happens! to fall into his possession. He and the mammoth go off in search of some treasure that they just happened to hear tell of over dinner one night.

It pains me to say all this publicly, but I’ve been told that you’re supposed to “Write toward discomfort.” This certainly fits the bill, because not only am I revealing my writing online (Which sorta scares me in general), I’m revealing some writing that I’m not particularly fond of.

My writing history is full of iffy stories which I’d rather not have published. But the writer’s career is twofold. Sometimes I may get published for what I like, sometimes I may get published for what other people like. It depends on the market I guess.

I’d post a clip of The Last of the Wooly Mammoths, but it was written  years ago and is probably stuck on a backup CD somewhere in my messy world. Yah. It’ll be a little bit till it gets up here.

For now, though, I will leave you with one thought: We write to please the writer. We publish to please the public. Well, I don’t know how true it is, but it’s something to think about at least. 🙂


19 thoughts on “The Last of the Wooly Mammoths (I Hope!)

  1. Dear wooly mammoth story. Hmm. I try to write for myself. I find that if I begin thinking of writing for anyone else, my ideas become stuck. But, if I just sit down with nothing and no one in mind, the ideas flow beautifully.

    • I write to please myself too, although often it proves to be more an exercise in self-discipline than pleasure!

      Interesting little block you have there. Doesn’t happen for me. Often times if my ideas become stuck, it’s because I’ve run out of things to write. I’m an 84 wpm typer, so perhaps my fingers move faster than my brain can think! I have to just walk away for a while (maybe a week, maybe a month, maybe a year!)

      • Self-discipline for sure. I have those moments when I just want to throw my journal and pen across the room, haha. It is an interesting block, I suppose. Perhaps I just become so caught up in what the opinion’s of others may be that I doubt the merit my writing may have. Taking a break is always a good idea.

      • Self-discipline…journals…throwing it across the room…at least you didn’t stop writing in yours right before summer began!!! lolol

        But self-discipline is the writers life now isn’t it? Unless you’re a strange case…

  2. I think it’s a little of both. I write because I need to, but what keeps me going is the challenge of writing for others – to create something that will delight, surprise, twist the mind, or make a reader feel something.

    • That’s why we writers write in the first place, right? To document the world? To record history? To record our thoughts?

      I love playing with my readers. 🙂

  3. I write to please the writer, but I always try to write something I would read. Sometimes I like to sit back and think, “Would I read this?” and if not, I try to rethink things. I mean, someone has to like the same type of books as me.

    • Sounds like you have a good compromise going. Therea are six billion people on this planet, some of us must like the same kinds of books!!!

  4. I’m with T.S. on this one. Certainly, as writers, we have to write to please ourselves. But if we want to be published writers, we have to consider the other side of the coin as well: the reader. If we aren’t writing what they want to read, there will be no chance of getting published.

    The trick is to find the overlap between the two. Which is easier said than done.

  5. Surely we can do both? Unless we’re really weird, of course, but then really weird sells too sometimes.
    With my first book I wrote it for myself (mostly) but now with the second one, I have this nagging feeling of an omniscient reader looking over my shoulder going, ‘ooh, no, I don’t think that will work.’ It’s a little surreal. I need to keep writing privately, otherwise a self-consciousness creeps into the narrative. I think it’s possible to spot the writers that have written to appeal to a market, or certain reader, and abandoned their own voice in the process.
    But the reader can’t be ignored completely. Let’s face it, books are written to be read.

    • There’s nothing wrong with really weird. Have you seen some of the stuff that’s been published?!

      Maybe the whole shoulder-reader thing is from being published already, and having a sense of what people like.

  6. I think we all have story skeletons in the closet that we’d rather not discuss, but it’s part of the process. I have spiral notebooks of mostly bad poetry and short stories dating back to when I was 15 years old. Luckily, as with just about anything, writing gets better with practice.

  7. A wooly mammoth story? From what I’ve read about the story- it doesn’t sound lame and I’d love to read it J.
    I definitely write to please myself. That’s that, I don’t write for anyone else. But being read (or perhaps I should say ‘published’ but my blog gives me the same pleasure) is a different story. Being read is my way of getting high 🙂 Nothing makes me happier, so I also write for other people to read my stories.

    • Thanks, Lua! Maybe I’ll revamp it and turn it into my “Story Thursday.” 🙂

      And it seems that you’re helping my argument, that sometimes we are not the best judges for how “Good,” our stories are!

  8. Pingback: A Few Words on the Westlands « j. p. cabit

  9. I feel like I write to please myself, but there is the time when I feel like I want to please my audience. When I know there are many who likes my writings, then I am satisfied.
    But I was talking about blogs, because I do not think I have lost the capability to write stories to be published.

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