A to Z Challenge 2013

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blog Chain - Never Surrender

It's time for another round on the blog chain  and I'm freakin' late!  Dangit!  I hate when that happens.  I was supposed to have this post up yesterday, but...wait a minute...ignore the time/date stamp on this post and imagine it is yesterday.  Your eyes are deceiving you.  It is actually the 16th.  Yes, that's true.  I have perfected time travel.

The ever-awesome Laura has thrown out this challenging query:

What keeps you going (either trying to get an agent or to get published or finish that WIP that’s kicking your butt) when you know the odds are stacked way against you?

The assumption here is that I haven't given up already. Thank you for that support, Laura.  I will now put the knife down and loosen the noose.  Whew, another close call.

Seriously though, I am not sure what keeps me working at this.  I guess part of it is watching so many of my writer friends, admiring and being envious of their skill, and remaining determined to get to that level of writing skill.  Okay, I know  in the writer circles, envy is a bad word.  We're not supposed to compare ourselves to others.  I completely disagree with this thought however.

Just because I am envious does not mean I tear myself up when I fall short.  Okay, maybe I tear myself up a little bit, but I also grit my teeth, stamp my feet, and work harder at my writing.  After all, I know that I can do this.  I have managed to learn how to do a great number of things in this life, and becoming a decent writer is something I truly believe is within the realm of possibility.

As for the odds, I never think about that.  To me, thinking about the odds is like trying to imagine being Atlas holding up the planet.  It's too humongous to really imagine, too hard to concretely grasp.  The odds are so huge against us that trying to fathom them in real terms and deal with that thought is too much.  So I just don't worry about it.

I'm also a believer in some sort of twisted version of fate.  My life has worked out the way it has because that's the way it was supposed to go.  I don't always know why something happens a certain way, but later on I realize it was supposed to happen that way.  And I'm okay with that.  So I have faith that this is what I'm supposed to be doing, and until I'm shown otherwise, I'll keep doing it.  Besides, it's the most fun I've had in a long time - even given all the difficulties.

Our trip through time is almost up, so I will now let you return to the present...er, I mean the 17th...because right now is still the 16th, remember?  Anyway, if you didn't get a chance to read Michelle H.'s stupendous response, get yer butt over there.  Before you go though, tell me how you manage to keep working at this writing gig?


Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

So, tell me all about this time travel thing so I can put it into my novels....

I guess the key point is that writing is fun for you. If you don't enjoy the journey, why make it in the first place?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It is all about timing! And since you don't know when that timing will occur, you can't give up.
Hey, I see a lot of other authors with agents and big publishers, and here I sit, with a small publisher. But you know, it's far more than I ever thought I'd achieve, and certainly more than if I had quit. Think of all the writers who never begin, or those who start and quit after a couple months. You're further than that!

Icy Roses said...

It just comes with the territory of writing. Hey, as long as you love to write, and you remember that's what it's all about, then the other stuff comes easier.

Shrinky said...

I read somewhere the secret of any successful writer is to, 1) Squeeze superglue to your chair, and 2) Sit on it and type.

Talent and inspiration helps too, so I am told.. something I believe you have an abundance of (sigh). Okay, enough navel picking of my own shortcomings.. time I looked Michelle up!

Michelle H. said...

Fate? Destiny? Karma? It's all the same when you put your mind do it. You're right. Just don't worry about the odds and keep plugging away.

Margie Gelbwasser said...

Yes, keep going. If you feel it's meant to be, this is your calling!! As the Bradys would say "Gotta keep on, keep on, keep on.." Yes I'm corny. :-)

Eric said...

Sandra - You are so right. If we're not having fun, why do it?

Alex - Oh man, if you had quit so many people would be without the awesomenesss that is CassaStar (and your next one). And I guess you're right - I haven't quit yet so I'm ahead of some :)

Icy - Good point. Gotta remember our reasons for doing this.

Shrinky - LOL, I've heard that before too. The only magic to being a great writer is to write. Period.

Michelle - That's kind of what I was trying to get at. I don't know what to attribute my path to, but there it is.

Margie - LOL, yeah that's a bit corny. But since you're cooler than words, I'll let it slide ;)

Christine Fonseca said...

I love the positive vibe in this post. And yes, if comparisons help you improve that isn't a bad thing!

Eric said...

Christine - Thank you. Yeah, I don't look at comparisons the same way others do. But that's okay too!

Shaun Hutchinson said...


This is a great answer. Often, I read amazing books and it makes me want to work harder, be better. Like you, I envy their skill and the books they've written. It would be tempting to give up but, like you, it only makes me want to be more.