Monday, March 7, 2011

What is "real"?

One of Little Guy's current favorite books is The Velveteen Rabbit. The story, in case you aren't familiar, follows a stuffed rabbit on his quest to discover how to become real. At the end of the story, the toy rabbit has been discarded but the playroom fairy finds him and turns him into a real live bunny. Although he is no longer needed by the little boy, she tells him that he can become real because the boy once loved him.

There are many discussions among my writer friends about what makes a "real" writer. Like the rabbit, we're all on a quest to define real, to understand real, and to get real. There are the diehards (cough, liars) who say they do it for the shear joy of it, but most of us agree that getting published is the ticket to becoming real.

So when I think about The Velveteen Rabbit story, and the message behind it, becoming real might be as easy as having one person who loves you, or in this case, one person who loves your story.

Unfortunately, that one person is an editor, just as elusive and mysterious as the fairy.

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