Thursday, February 25, 2016


Let's be honest: The world doesn't really give a damn about your writing or how much effort went into your latest attempt at literacy.  Let's face it, there are dozens of better writers, better stylists, better plotters, and better salesmen than you. There is no way your attempts are going to measure up to the standards of the published stories you've read.  Worse, compared to any random selections you choose to read, the pathetic scribblings of  your drafts are downright embarrassing. Your words choices unsuitability are only matched by your inadequate plotting and the cardboard characters who lack any resemblance to a real person.  You realize sooner or later that you don't have Imposter Syndrome but that you are an imposter!

It's enough to make you think about quitting.

Only you can't.  Some demon has cursed you with literary ambitions far beyond your abilities and talent.  Words tumble out in an endless, unsaleable stream, a river, a flood and nothing seems to work for you.  No matter how hard you try success seems ever beyond the pale of possibility.  You feel like Sisyphus, eternally pushing a mass of manuscript up editorial hills only to fall to the bottom where you must do it again and again. You once again vow to quit.

Then you keep doing it.

If you keep at it you might get a modicum of encouragement; perhaps a note from an editor, praise from one of your peers, or even a kind word from one of the pros you've met.  On the face of it these small graces do little save to bolster your unjustified feelings of worth.  Some day, these tiny graces seem to say, you will earn the acclaim you so richly deserve.  You will get the rewards visited upon you for your work.  You will get fan mail.  You might even get mentioned in a trade publication.

Just don't count on it.


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