Friday, March 05, 2010
Freak-Out Friday - Does It Ever Get Easier?
Warning: This post may be harmful to your blissfully happy demeanor. If you have nothing to complain about today, move on.
Do ever ask yourself why you do what you do?
If I was forced to admit how many years I've been writing, I'd run in the opposite direction. Fast.
When they tell you writing is not for the faint of heart, they're not kidding.
When you hear that only a handful of aspiring authors ever finish their first manuscript, believe it.
Worse, an even smaller handful actually go on to get published.
You can sign up for every course ever offered on writing, and there are a bazillion of them.
Read each and every single book you can get your hands on about the craft.
Attend all the conferences you can afford and take notes until your hand drops off.
You can write several novels that in your estimation are going to soar straight to #1 on the Bestseller List.
But then several years into it, you begin to wonder if you know anything at all.
You are stuck. You think you've done all the right things, but you're not getting anywhere.
If I told you I had it all figured out, I'd be lying. Truth is, I don't have anything figured out.
The longer I'm at this, the more confused I become.
Just when I think I know it all, I realize I know very little.
So what gives?
What is it about some books that make them salable, marketable and profitable?
Why does Amish fiction sell?
Why do people care about vampires and wizards, talking dogs and some guy finding a shack in the middle of nowhere?
And how is a writer ever supposed to get it right if nobody tells them what they're doing wrong?
I could stop right here and wax poetic about riding the waves of discouragement, never giving up, continuing to learn and grow, and oh yes, rejoicing in rejection, but I'm not going to do that.
Because I'm not feeling it today.
And every once in a while I think we should be honest.
The thing I find most amusing about all those wonderfully uplifting posts you read about suffering through the harsh realities of publication and using each rejection as a stepping stone, is that they're pretty much all written by published authors.
I know I'm supposed to clap and cheer for John Doe and thank them for the great words of wisdom they have imparted. I know if I don't, I'll just sound like a big whiny baby who thinks the world is against her.
I guess I'd rather just tell the truth.
Some days I don't appreciate hearing success stories. Does that make me a bad person?
Maybe. But maybe it just makes me real.
I know all those folks are just trying to be encouraging.
But they're already on the other side of the ocean.
And I want to ask them if they even remember sitting here.
Wanting to scream until you can't scream anymore.
Ready to give it all up and go get a real job. (NB to Hubby - don't hold your breath).
It's not surprising that so many aspiring authors never make it to publication.
This gig is hard. Really hard.
And it can be really, really discouraging.
But there are always those who will smile and tell you you're just being silly, you need to keep your chin up, "You're too blessed to be depressed!"
Yes. I am blessed. But I'm also human.
I'm exercising my God-given right to actually admit my failures and short-comings.
Take it or leave it.
But if there's anything in my moaning that resonates with you, jump on board and wail with me.
Because sometimes a good cry is well worth the blotchy cheeks and red eyes.
Got a gripe? Go ahead and share it.
But this is a one day only deal.
Tomorrow we'll put on our happy faces again.
And maybe some time in the future, in a galaxy far far away, I'll write one of those totally encouraging posts about wading through the murky waters of rejection, and you can all throw tomatoes at me.