Wednesday, January 02, 2013


In Kathryn Stockett's novel, The Help, when Stuart asks Skeeter, "What do you do with your time?" she answers emphatically, "I write."

I wonder what went through Kathryn's mind when she wrote those two words. I write.

It's the second day of the new year, and yesterday on the first day of the new year, I pulled the covers over my head and screamed ... "NO MORE! I'M SICK OF IT. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!!!"

Can we get real, here? Can we stop with the cutesy blogs and read something real? Can I write my heart this morning without backlash? Without somebody thinking I'm wallering in self-pity? Because I really just want to write what I'm feeling today, without pretense. Without agenda. Without that forced smile we all know so well.

Time to hash out a few words and see if anybody out there ... relates.

Every day I read all the wonderful blogs by other writers. Encouragement abounds. Positive messages and quotes and anecdotes fill the Internet. Every time I open my email, it's overflowing with writers, editors, bloggers, literary agents ... some folks I know, others I don't ... all telling me what to do and what not to do to be successful in the new year. It makes me wonder. How many of them have given up at some point. Just chucked in the towel and said ... enough. Enough of this bullshit.

The market is over-saturated. It reminds me of Noah and the ark. Only a select few are hand-picked by the "publishing gods" to travel on the ark, while the rest of us tread water, pound on the doors, and scream to be heard.

Now ... God knows ... I'm grateful. For every positive review of Televenge. For every letter of love and support. There have been many. I'm thankful for those who have expressed encouragement on my behalf and continue to do so. I'm not talking about that. That's not what this post is about. But the journey with Televenge as my debut novel has also taught me a few new things about the industry. The biggest is that although I've been a writer since I was a bitty girl, a full-time writer since 2003, the struggle is FAR from over.

In fact, I feel as if I've bounced along this pioneer trail on a wagon train heading west for over a decade. I've nearly drowned crossing the Mississippi, manuevered through a few prarie fires, and fought off one too many Pawnee with only a double-barrel and a fast horse. And now ... I'M STANDING AT THE BASE OF THE DAMN ROCKY MOUNTAINS.

I thought, at least, I would get a glimpse of home. How the hell do I get over this mountain?

It's enough to send a body under the covers.

Through all the unfairness within this industry, it doesn't matter. Not anymore. There's plenty of broken dreams out there. An abundance of struggling writers pounding on the ark. What is it that will set some of us apart? The story of a lifetime? The perfect editor/agent/publisher/book deal/book tour? Thousands of Facebook friends and Twitter followers? When the moon/stars/plants all line up?

None of the above.

The answer is simple. To get out of bed every morning, and write. To not think about the outcome or the awards or those who have let you down. The answer is to put social media on the back seat of the bus, and your butt in the driver seat. To do the one thing God has called you to do.

I'm a writer. It's what I do. The unvarnished truth is after all the new year resolutions are made and broken, after all the glass half-fulls are put to bed, I'm still wagon-training.

This morning I woke up and realized ... I can't go back. I've come too far. What is it that makes me get out of bed? What is it?

I write.

It's just that simple.

Blessings to you and yours.

1 comment:

ginabad said...

thank you for writing this! I did this for my blog, when things got out of whack and page rank dropped. (The Google gods did their mysterious thing I was, I think, the last casulalty.) But then I just went for it. And got better, and started again making friends. Then I got the HIGHEST compliment: I encouraged some one. That email is more precious to me than anything. Now, all I need to do is feel the same about my fiction :) thanks for reminding me!
gina b