Wednesday, July 2, 2014
IWSG: It won't Always Suck this Much.
The form rejection letter, though, was easy to believe.
I know that rejections shouldn't get to me. The two rejections I got before that one, I shrugged them off, no problem and nothing new. But dreaming of that coincidence and having it happen and then really NOT happen, that hurt me a lot more than I thought it would. Let's just say the 25th was a really bad day for me, and that I'm glad my co-workers think I'm hilarious when I deadpan everything because I'm in a down mood.
But in another coincidence, a positive one this time, Adam Warren, an artist and writer whose work I really enjoy, tweeted this on the 24th: "Some days—or weeks, or months—you just have to tell yourself, “Hey, the work won’t ALWAYS suck as much as it does right now. No, really!”"
It's weird how helpful it can be to know that someone else is struggling too.
Doing any kind of creative work is difficult. And I don't mean succeeding at it, making a living at it, any of that. I mean just doing it - putting your ass in the chair and cranking away at the stuff you love. Even when it becomes the stuff you keep telling yourself you love because you're growing tired of it but throwing it all away isn't an option, for whatever reason. And while I never really doubted it, there's some real reassurance in knowing that someone who's been doing this professionally since the late 1980s has the same problems as those of us still struggling to move beyond "unknown" or, in my case, "obscure".
Yes, there are times when it sucks. But those times won't last forever. There will be times when it's glorious, when everything works the way you want it to, when the characters come to life in your head and demand to be birthed onto the page, when your plot elements fall into place so perfectly that your readers think you're a genius even though it took you seventeen days to come up with that one plot twist, when you edit and find the perfect word to turn that lackluster jumble of a sentence into a golden turn of phrase.
I think if you asked all of us why we do this, we'd all have different answers. If you asked us what keeps us going, you'd probably get even more different answers. But when things get bad, remember this, and keep going, because it's worth it:
It won't always suck this much.