This past year has been a long, slow stall for me. I like to brush off the rejections—I tell myself I’m brushing them off—but I wonder if instead I’m hanging on so I can mull over them later when no one’s looking. Truth is, for a year I’ve written things of no real consequence. Ghostwriting is a good way to hide. I’ve been petrified of failing again, so I haven’t given it a real go. I look at writers who work hard every day (look at Helen, on her 10th draft, and I’m meandering and thinking of giving it all up on, what is it really?, a 4th?!) and then I look at myself, and I know the answer: I must work harder. I must keep trying.
Even Miss Snark’s message today is one I could hear a little more of. Someone asks: “At what point does one simply give up?” And Miss Snark, not one for random acts of kindness, says:
It’s true, it’s about the writing, not the publishing fantasy. I miss those innocent times when I didn’t know up from down when it came to publishing fantasies. There was a time when I had no clue what a literary agent was, so it didn’t occur to me to want one.
Last year I thought of giving up—yes, I did consider it for some extended moments; yes, I was feeling sorry for myself. I’m thinking of this now because at the end of this week it’s my birthday. My birthday last year brought with it a very disappointing rejection, the start of a descent that peaked that spring. By summer, I had no idea what to do with myself. I guess I still don’t. I hope to figure it out this year. I’d rather look back on a year of honest effort than one of self-pity and immobility. Yikes. Someone please help me back up!
And I realize the “someone”—clearly—must be myself. And so begins the head-smacking…