Happy Monday everyone! Before we get to the blog chain, I wanted to announce the winner of Carrie Ryan’s The Dark and Hollow Places:
LISA GAIL GREEN!
Now, on to the Blog Chain. This question comes from Laura, who asked:
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?
Dang this is a great question – especially right now. My immediate answer is that I must be a masochist – I mean, why else would anyone do this? Seriously?
There is so much rejection, so much disappointment, and even when you make it…that yucky-no-good-I-can’t-do-this feeling never goes way (maybe if you’re JK Rowling it does, but not for the majority of writers).
So, why on earth would ANYONE keep doing this?
For me, I guess it boils down to the fact that I still have something to say.
Yes, I am tenacious. Yes, I hate quitting at anything, admitting defeat in any way. But that isn’t what keeps me going.
The thing that keeps me writing even when I am convinced beyond doubt that I will never achieve what I yearn for, even when I am so low my dearest of friends can barely reach me, even when I actually decide to walk away….
the thing that keeps me writing are the characters that keep talking.
Because no matter what I’ve decided, no matter how much I may want to walk away at times, my characters urge me to continue.
The nonfiction ideas continue to push up through my frustration and the fiction stories continue to weave themselves through my thoughts. So whether I “should” continue or not is really a moot point for me. My mind – and my heart – refuses to let me stop.
I stumbled across an essay by Richard Rhodes entitled “Words Like a Life Rope” (from his book How to Write). In it he says:
If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You’re a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen.We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle. (p.1)
He then goes on to say:
…silence is pain that writing relieves. Our uniqueness isolates us. Writing, we make our way out of our isolation onto the commons that we share. It’s an emotional experience. You stumble gibbering into the valley of the shadow; you pull yourself hand over hand to ecstatic heights. Beyond those terrific passages gathers the community of readers, an open, world community of people – men, women, and children – who want and need to hear.(p.2)
Rhodes summed it up for me – I write – and more importantly, I continue to write – because I can.
And I must.
That is what keeps me going in the end.
And just a reminder – my blog tour continues today with a stop on my amazing CP Danyelle Leafty’s blog. Be sure to check it out (I get all sappy about my Mom!) And remember to leave comments throughout the tour. I am giving some amazing books away!
OH! And I am on Blog Talk Radio today from 5-6pm EDT (show starts at 4pm). Click here for more information.