In the past week, the following has happened – I saw a draft cover illustration for my upcoming novella “Vaudeville”, which I really liked; I volunteered to review a favourite author’s novel, which was later published, I was invited to write an introductory line for another author’s story and; to top it all off I received a lowly royalty check and a form story rejection all in the same day.
I know, I know, I hear you saying “get over it, it comes with the territory” and yeah, you’re right, it does. I accept that. It’s just that writing is like you’re living with an addiction; you get good news and of course you’re on a high, then your legs get cut out from under you and you think to yourself, is all this effort worth it? My unhappy self says to me: “Why do you put all this effort in, writing, promoting yourself (and annoying others) on Facebook and Twitter, when you get very little in return?
Fortunately my happy-self chimes in and says: “Because you love writing – no matter what, you idiot!)
I’m not giving up – I’ve written about 11,000 words in the past fortnight – two short stories: a supernatural crime piece and a mad, fantastical and disturbing mythological tale that looks at the meaning of right and wrong.
Of course I want to be published (what author doesn’t?), of course it feels great to know people like your work, but it’s far better just to express myself and spill my imagination onto the page and get nothing in return.
And when the shitty royalty checks come and I receive a rejection I just have to remind myself of the two novellas I’ve had published, the third that’s on its way and the graphic novel that’s in its very final stages. I also need to remind myself that I’m not alone – there are hundreds of other writers out there on the same rollercoaster ride and hopefully, telling their unhappy selves exactly the same things.