Monday, April 09, 2012

The Confidence Game

I've been thinking about amount of sheer chutzpah being a writer requires a lot lately.

First, in my Loft class, I was having a chat (I'm teaching on-line this year, which probably deserves a post all its own,) and one of the students was talking about how difficult it is to work up the courage to send stories to magazines. I get this. In fact, this is one of the reasons I have offered to do this part of the job for several members of the writers' group. Yet, I've never had a lot of trouble with it myself. I have what my martial arts instructors call an indomitable spirit. I don't believe I'm awesome so much as I believe that you can't win if you don't play. I'm always willing to wade in and get knocked out. Then, I get up and do it again. I get pounded a lot, but I've got a smile on my face because, to me, this is part of what it means to be a writer. Being engaged in the business, even if it bloodies your lip.

And it will.

A lot.

Because, even AFTER you've punched your way over the transom and into publication, you still get really nasty reviews. Even ten years after a book comes out, you might stumble across something that points out all the weaknesses you always secretly knew you had.

The hardest is part of being a writer is how utterly vulnerable you have to be willing to be while also maintaining a ridiculously thick skin. It's a really strange requirement, but I think one of the ones we really have to develop if we want to survive.

Once more into the breech! Let us ride out to meet them!

1 comment:

Juli Hoffman said...

Thanks for sharing this. I love your writing, BTW! :)