This was meant to be a fabulous motivational post for but since this week has been disappointing writing-wise, I’ve kind of lost any motivational type attitude. Not that I had much to start with.
This year has been a hell of a year. Lots of very, very hard stuff to deal with. Lots of hard work put in. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned a lot and the few successes I’ve had have been wonderful. But the sad fact is that there aren’t enough successes to balance out all the crap.
It all comes down to that ten percent. If getting published is 30% talent, 30% hard work, 30% persistence, then that last 10% is luck. And you might have all the above but if you don’t strike that last 10% you may as well not bother. Now, I don’t think I’m a bad writer. I have some lovely contest successes as testament to the fact that people like what I write. And also lovely comments on the chapters I’ve written for New Voices. I know people would like to read what I write. This year I’ve also put in a lot of hard work to make my stories better. Learning craft has been difficult for me, applying it even harder. But I think I’ve made progress. And I’ve been pretty persistent. I’ve written over 10 books in the past couple of years – some twice!
But no one will get to read them if you don’t get the 10%. Luck. The right editor, the right story, the right time. Some people hit it straight away. Some people don’t. Guess which group I fit into? I don’t set out to write bad stories. Every time I write a story I’m wanting to blow someone’s socks off. But sadly, for me, the socks have stayed firmly on. I just haven’t hit that 10% yet. And the sad truth of the matter is this: I may NEVER hit it. Because that’s the beauty of luck.
At the moment, I feel like I’m going into a casino and playing the slots. I have had a few wins to keep me going – small returns to give the illusion you’re succeeding – but no jackpot. Sometimes I don’t get any in a row. Sometimes three. Once, I had four. Yet I keep missing out. And I’m getting to the bottom of the change in my cup. I could go get some more of course, but my bank account is on zero. I’m a gambling addict, betting what little confidence I have in my writing on a change in luck that may never happen.
Okay, so it might change. You never know. You might give up right before it happens for you! Well, I can safely say that is not the case now. It will not be happening for me in the near future. So I could actually give up now, safe in the knowledge that for the next year at least, I wouldn’t have missed out on anything.
And you know what? I just don’t know if I can do another year. My change cup is empty and so is my bank account. I’ve written books I was so confident in I was all but writing out my sale story, only to end in rejection. I’ve written books that I thought would never get anywhere that have won contests. So now I can’t tell what’s good anymore and what isn’t. My instinct has gone. The vacuum of being unpublished has sucked it all away.
I’ve always been an emotional girl. Up and down, that’s me. Writing just makes the downs more intense because I actually care too much about this thing. And as for the ups…well, there haven’t been many. I wish I could detach myself. I wish I had a hard skin and could shrug off the downs. Maybe if I’d built up to it I would have. But I started off really well so that when the downs came, my skin wasn’t thick enough to cope. Still isn’t.
Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that at the end of the year, I’m going to have to sit down and reconsider whether I want to continue doing this. True, I haven’t been doing this as long as many and if you’ve been doing this for years, I salute you.You are incredible people and I wish I had your staying power. But I’m not sure I do. I’m not sure I can keep gambling on the ten percent.
I was so hoping that my journey would end happily. That I would have a sale story to tell. But life doesn’t happen that way. No matter how much we want something, no matter how much we think we deserve it, it doesn’t mean we’ll get it. Sometimes – unfortunately – there is no HEA.