Thursday, September 20, 2007

And that's what friends are for...

Okay. I just had a brief (literally 5 minute chat) conversation with Blue. He made me feel so much better after my brief descent into despair.

The funny thing about Blue is that he and I are very good friends, but as of the past year, I haven't seen him or talked to him all that much, mostly because we're both doing our own thing.

Anyway, he reminded me again, of how success, especially in writing, is almost 100% luck and perseverance. He forwarded me the article on Alfred Knopf in the NY Times. "Read this before you leave work today," he said. "Just remember. You gotta just keep your head down and do what you can and not worry about what other people say." I know, I said. These are all things I know, that I've even said to others. "Read it," he reiterated. "If Knopf can get it wrong, then who's to say some admissions officers can't too?" And then he said another thing: "I think the first step to becoming an artist is to learn to accept rejection."

So true.

I do well when I feel like I have something to prove. I remember not too long ago, feeling like some people thought of me as some silly kid, idealistic in ambition. I was angry and upset and I worked tirelessly, slaved over dumb stories to try to prove them wrong. I've never turned in a manuscript I didn't rewrite at least three times, didn't spend at least days upon, have never turned in half of a story. I've turned in things that are considered "first stabs", but my first stabs take days to do because I keep reinventing, playing with POVs and structure and voice. A chip on my shoulder propels me forward. I am easily injured, but I also get right back up and keep going.

There will always be ups and downs for me because of this, but I know I'll never give up. And isn't that what it's all about? Not giving up.

Thanks, Blue. You've reminded me of everything important for me to remember as I start on this long, tortured journey... All the things I should never forget and never lose sight of.

*end today's moment of self-doubt*

1 drops:

moonrat said...

it's a really good point. or the jack kerouac story. we just can't worry about what other people think. in the end they're at least as fallible as we are.

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