Friday, July 17, 2009


I wrote this a little while ago on my personal blog. In response to the article by Sean Williams, which I posted yesterday, I thought it was appropriate to share it here. It's not, I hope, me feeling sorry for myself. It's more an expression of feeling, otherwise known as a good vent.

It's funny, being a nobody in this writing business. You grovel to authors to get them to read your stuff, then wait endlessly while your manuscript gathers dust on their shelves. You grab every opportunity to post comments on agent's blogs, no matter the subject, hoping they might somehow notice you amongst the throng. You write a blog that only two or three people read, trying desperately to come up with intelligent, witty and relevant posts in case some agent or publisher happens to pass by. You battle just to get half an hour of writing time, and often, when you do, you feel guilty thinking about what else you should be doing. Then, all too often, by the time you fire up the laptop, it's so late at night you're too tired to be productive, and you give up, instead of writing something that's not your best. And, worst of all, you just don't know. You don't know whether it will ever happen, because you don't know if you have, or ever will have, what it takes. Sure, a few people have said they like your book, but are they trying to make you happy? Would they say the same thing about anything that fell into their laps? You don't know, and you can't know. Only time will tell.

But still you do it. Still you battle away, because you love it, and it's in your veins, and you're going to keep plugging away and moving forward inch by inch until something finally gives. Most of all, you do it because of that nagging voice - the one that whispers incessantly in your ear, telling you that failure is not even worth comparing to the tragedy of not trying at all.


  1. Great post and amen. I love checking my blog stats and watch them jump from 1 view one day to 8 views on a good day. We go on a whole heap of faith that things will work. If never being published is the end result, as you say, at least we will have tried. I wouldn't trade my writing hours for anything, regardless of what happens to those words.

    P.S. I found your blog through Teresa Frohock's blog.

  2. Hi Jonathan, and welcome. You get 8 views? You get "hours" of writing? ;-)

  3. Yeah, I'm pretty lucky. I get 4-5 hours a day, at least 5 days a week. I'm in a situation right now where writing is my job. It probably won't last forever, but I'm making the most of the writing AND spending lots of time with my wife and 3-year-old.