“Anyone who says they love writing probably sucks at it.”
– Bob Odenkirk
I’m really not one to complain about writing life. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of it both privately and publicly in more than a few columns for LitReactor. But what do I really have to complain about? I mean, I work two-to-four hours during the day while Scarlett’s playing, eating, or napping. And after the rest of the house is asleep, I typically plant myself in my office and work another two-to-five hours at night. It’s a good life, I take care of my family and make up imaginary people, it’s the life I’ve always pictured for myself. On top of that, over the past year, I’ve gotten to do nothing but work on spec projects. Because I haven’t been taking on contracts, I’ve managed to wrap up a mountain of projects that I’m extremely happy with, although rewriting the book length stuff has been a bit of a slog (Shocker, I’m a writer who doesn’t enjoy re-writing).
Along with the book length stuff, I’ve also churned out a lot of short stuff, too, and since July I’ve been sending the short stuff out en masse. As of last night, I have 54 pieces of writing floating around on the interwebs and all of those have been sent to paying markets.
If you’ve never sent out your stories and poems to pro and semi-pro markets, it’s a long and frustrating process. The average wait time is between 4-to-6 months, and more likely than not, your precious snowflake of a story is going to be rejected. After the rejection, you’re going to brood, you’re going think the editor who rejected you is nothing but a big fat idiot, and after a few days, you’re going to send that story to another journal with hope in your heart that the next editor will recognize your genius and publish you.
And the thing is, I’m perfectly fine with rejection, it’s part of the process, I get it. The only problem is, I can’t even get an editor to reject me. This, more than anything else, is driving me bugshit. So much so that a few weeks ago, I decided to stop sending out until I started getting some responses. I was happy with the decision for a couple of weeks, but I was still writing and finishing new material and last night, I added four more pieces to my Submittable queue. The journals I sent out to have a turn around time of 8-to-12 weeks.
I’m an idiot.
I also feel like a powerhouse. I feel creatively unstoppable despite the fact that I really have nothing to show for my work other than two pages of online database constantly mocking me and taunting me about my life choices.
It says things like:
“Your writing sucks cock and balls.”
“Did you actually think you could make a living at this shit?”
“Why don’t you just get yourself a job and go back to doing this shit as a hobby.”
By the way, the little/big doubtful voice sounds exactly like my dad.
Most days, I tell the voice to shut the fuck up. Most days I push it down and work. Most days I go to bed with a smile on my face and excited for the next day.
But then the voice comes back–like it did this morning as I made coffee–and I want to start punching myself in the face just so I can feel something different other than self-doubt.
Yeah, I’m a bit dramatic, but you get what I’m saying, right?
At least I hope you do.
Anyway, thanks for attending my pity party. It’s been fun, but it’s time to push down the voice again and get back to work, because it’s a shit ton better than sitting around and letting the voice win.