(08.21.10 - 2:10 am - near dark pitch pine trees - it seemed important at the time)
I recently believed I'd become a writer. But then I got a letter. Several actually. They all said the same thing. "Nope." I hate it when that happens.
The thing is, Mr/Mrs. Nathan/Kirsten/William/Kate/Sara/Michael etc etc, I am a writer. But you were right. Saying "no," I mean. I'm just not a publishable writer. Yet.
Before the gates of excellence, the gods have placed sweat. – Katherine Paterson
But it's just that I put so much work into writing the stupid book, I thought for sure - for sure - you'd have to say "Yes!!" and "How many zeroes would you like on your check?" and "We'd like to buy all the books you've ever, ever written - since first grade" and "Can you fly to New York in the morning? First class of course. On us." Instead you just said "Nope." Turns out that work - the uncounted, grinding hours - some spent huddled in the dark of my mind, lots sitting in that one room in the library, others spent thinking and typing and then backing up and writing again. And again. And again. They were all just a waste, right?
(Note to you, Muse over publishing: Where's my dream about sparkly vampires in a meadow? Dude.)
So ok, not a waste. A journey. A life lesson. A process. Becoming a published writer is a slap in the face, brisk water, ultramarathon, "you'd better be ready for years of nope 'cuz that's the price to play, son. It just is."
Fine. be that way. If I want this thing. Really really want it. Then I should - I must - understand that only the serious dare enter the cage, boots cinched tight, prepared for no after no after no. Because as someone brilliant (and published) once said - "That which we receive too cheap we esteem too lightly."
The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork (including writing) is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars. — David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
So back to the wrestle go I. Fumbling about once again. Still. Always. I bring what few tools I've got to the work, and work the best I know how. Believing still. Again. Always.
I will be published. I must be published. I'll bend bones, snap turtle shells (empty), call down angels, even eat Cream of Wheat to be published, brotha. I shall prevail. I must. Must.