Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Why It Hurts
Why do we do it? I once heard it said that living with a writer is similar to living with a cutter. They put themselves out there only to be hurt over and over and over again.
But we don't stop. The mark of a good and dedicated writer is that we just keep coming back for more. Ask any published author and they will tell you that one of the most vital tools a writer can have is a thick skin.
In an industry that takes years and years of hard work and dedication for even the possibility of being successful, why would so many of us keep coming back for more?
I can't answer that. I know my own reasons and I hope you know yours because if you don't, you'll figure them out or quit before too long. What I want to discuss is the reason I believe it HAS to be this way.
In any artistic profession, there is a certain amount of talent and a bigger amount of hard work involved. The learning curve in writing is tremendous. There are so many different facets to be aware of all while you craft this entirely new world and people and breathe life into them. In order to learn, you must recognize your areas that need work. If you don't find those weaknesses and improve them, your writing will become stagnant. So, we need those critiques and critics and rejections.
We all need to spend some time in the land of Total Suckdom...a lot of time.
The other part of the equation is the writing itself. You have to love it and pour everything you have into it. You have to make it a part of your identity. Allow this world to take shape in your mind, the people to breathe, love, hate and live in your heart. To create a story that has any chance at being publishable, you must fill it with a piece of yourself and then send it out to be trampled.
This is why it hurts, and this is why it HAS to hurt. If it doesn't hurt to send out your work and have it thoroughly rejected...then you weren't in it enough to begin with. I learned during the querying process to thicken my skin and embrace the pain that comes from knowing I am invested enough to some day be successful.
What do you think? Are you afraid to feel a little pain?