16 November 2010

Well, since I'm here...

I think that horror convention was a great thing. Not only because of everything in the previous post (which still makes me giddy, btw), but because it left me with a feeling that things are actually going to look up. After all the negativity--some of it self-imposed, yes--that I've endured over the last few months, the consistent rejections, the battering of my ego, etc., the fact that something as seemingly insignificant (in the grand scheme of things) as meeting all those fabulous people and sort of talking to Julian has helped me recenter myself and actually want to work on things. Even though I had a massive crisis moment while reading The Windup Girl the other day that nearly resulted in deleting all of my files and just stopping then and there, the fact that something I panicked about writing and really had no faith in myself about writing has been well received by my peers who are undoubtedly much better writers than I am had assisted in the confidence department. Sometimes I feel completely inadequate, sometimes I feel like nothing I work on will be good enough. Sometimes I feel like a talentless hack who has no future in writing.

But I won't give it up for anything. Because I'm a MUCH better writer than I was when I started. Better than I was even last year. It's a growth process, a learning process. And the most important lesson to learn is that we all have unique voices, viewpoints, and styles. Just because I don't write the same way as Paolo Bacigalupi or Anne Rice doesn't mean that my words don't have merit or that my ideas don't have potential. It just means that I have a different way of looking at things, and that's fabulous. The world already has Anne Rice and Paolo Bacigalupi. It doesn't need another one. I can learn from them, but it's still my voice.

Writers go through a lot of confidence ups and downs. We're riding high one minute, and then a rejection comes in that steals our thunder. Or a less-than-kind critique deflates our ego. Or we just wake one day with the panic that we're fooling ourselves. I know I'm not the only one who endures these doubts. All creative people have them, and anyone who says otherwise is either fooling himself or delusional.

But the thing to remember about creative pursuits is that perseverance is key. Some actors wait their entire careers to have that breakout role *Mickey Roarke anyone?* Some authors write 4, 5, 6, 50 books before they have that bestseller. Some musicians play in bars until their 30 before they hit it big *John Mellancamp*. But do you give up? No. One of the things I took away from the convention was that regardless of how many people are clamoring to meet you *or not*, you keep doing what you love because you LOVE it and you can't imagine doing anything else. Hone your craft. Take classes if you can. Attend seminars if you can. Befriend other writers. Learn from them as they learn from you. It's important to persevere.


Elaine AM Smith said...

Great post. Keep at it! Perseverance. You have offered life experience and the best tips that can be suggested to anyone going through that "Can I really do this?" stage.

Chris Phillips said...

Glad you are feeling on the up. Ride those highs.

lexcade said...

Thanks all. I might dedicate my first book, whatever it is, to Julian just for the 3 minutes that really helped break me from my funk.

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