This week, I’ve seen rumblings in the writerly sphere of cyberspace about shirking negativity, managing the pain of rejections, and forging ahead despite disappointment.
Then it occurred to me: Why DO I keep going?
Certainly, there’s no guarantee that I’ll rise through the ranks of hopeful writers to land an agent, no matter how “perfect” I get my writing. There’s an element of having the “right manuscript at the right time for the right agent” that makes it impossible to ensure an offer of representation.
Yet, I am still hopeful. I’m hopeful because I’ve seen other people do it. I’m hopeful because I can see the lightyears of progress I’ve made in my writing technique over the past two years. I’m hopeful because, well, I’m hopeful.
It’s hope that keeps me going. Without it, there’s no point.
If I follow my train of thought, my next question is: Is all of this work, time, effort, angst, joy, frustration, elation, and obsession worth it?
To determine the answer, I’d have to reflect on my experiences thus far.
Well, I’ve met some incredible people. Positive people. Supportive people. Sarcastic (in the good sense *grin*) people. Genuine people. Determined people. Intelligent people. Ambitious people. Incredibly talented people. Had I not started this journey of writing a novel, my life would not have been enriched by all the friends, colleagues, and virtual acquaintances I’ve made.
Furthermore, my writing would have stagnated. Had I stayed isolated in my little bubble, I would never have the opportunity to grow. I would never had learned from my mistakes.
So, yes, it IS worth it.
Which leads me to my next point:
I AM THANKFUL FOR MY MISTAKES.
Wonky concept at first. What’s so great about falling flat on my face? Well, I get to learn. I get to practice listening and accepting feedback and critique. I get to remind myself to keep an open mind in a subjective business. I get to develop a sense of judgment regarding the soundness of advice. I get to teach others based on personal experience. My critiques of others can be tactful AND direct, because I have now learned how to give tactful AND direct feedback.
I get to cheer my friends on and be truly happy for their success.
And I get to dream that someday I’ll get to join them.
All of this makes me thankful.