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The hardest part…

This weekend, I should find out if I’ve been commissioned for some writing work. (It’s not just one thing, it’s a handful of jobs). In any case, I should find out more over the weekend.

I came back to writing professionally because I missed the regular creative challenge, and the validation of being published. I came into to with no illusions as to how hard it was. The reason I write is because it’s part of who I am. The reason I try to get published is because I crave an audience.

What I’d forgotten about was the waiting. The seemingly endless waiting. You work, you sweat, you spend days changing words on a page into something that people want to read, and then you send it out into the world. And wait. And wait some more. It’s not easy.

Rejection, in this case, is almost as good as a commission. A rejection letter means that the people you’ve sent it to have at least acknowledged your existence. This isn’t being needy, this is part of how it all works.

A rejection letter is a sign you’re on the right track, because it’s far more likely that if your work is no good, you’ll simply be ignored. It’s nothing personal, of course, but it never feels like that. It feels like you’ve taken something you’ve created and then sent it out into the world to be eaten by wolves. Novellist and script-writer James Swallow once described the typical response from a publisher as a crushing maw of nothingness, and I agree with him very strongly on this. But of course, it’s nothing personal. And every failure is simply fuel to the marvellous engine called “Being Better”.

So as well as writing, I’m waiting. Patiently. And trying hard not to check my inbox every five minutes.

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Categories: Writing
  1. October 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    It’s tough. horribly, irritatingly tough. Good luck with it.

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