Scatter Shooting the Muse

Being a writer is its own breed of paranoia. You lock yourself away in some little antisocial corner, hunched over a keyboard and pounding away for hours on end, and hope, in the end, someone will like your work enough to pat you on the back and tell you it’s all been worthwhile. You have a story to tell, an important one you want to share with the world, and the world wants it just as bad as you want them to have it. Rriigghhtt.

It rarely works out like that. You write for rejection, anticipating each one will be a little kinder than the last and you finally get a little bit of hope. Not necessarily acceptance, but hope. After reading your submission or query, if they didn’t tell you to burn your keyboard never ever send anything like that again, you can call that a success. Instead, they tell you taste is subjective and to keep on trying and you call that a victory. It’s like the high school cheerleader or quarterback telling the teenage you they would only date you if you were the last person on earth. Ah, then there’s still a chance, even if it’s a slim one.

You as a writer have to be tough as a three-year-old reaching for the candy dish on the coffee table. No matter how many times their hands get slapped and are told no, they know there is a prize just waiting to be claimed once they wear the hand slapper down. So, they keep reaching.

That’s what a writer has to do, keep reaching. There is no secret shortcut to success, just perseverance – and luck. Talent and luck. Hard work and luck. See the pattern?

Writer’s tears are more than a metaphor, it’s an emotional rollercoaster that you ride throughout your career. It just seems the valleys are a lot longer and deeper than the highs could ever be, but you don’t get off the ride. You persevere, that’s the artistry in your soul. That’s why you have to write. So write


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