Wednesday, March 24th, 2004 • No Comments on Style Over Substance
If I can’t write anything worth reading, the least I can do is change my banner so it looks like something exciting is going on here. One day, when I have the money, I will let the chicks at BlogMoxie design a beautiful new layout worthy of the fascinating tale that is my life (please note the sarcasm there). Until then, you’re stuck with my rudimentary design skills which are coloring-book quality, at best. I do know how to amuse myself, though.
So, I am mostly recovered from The Incident TM. We shall not speak of it again. I’m wired on coffee and should be spinning this energy into a tale of danger and intrigue (starring the redhead above), when instead I’m doing anything but.
I hit the bookstore tonight. Ahh… what angst and heartbreak exists there. Perusing the shelves of endless books written by countless authors and none of them me. Crushing, I tell you. I’m conceited enough to know I’m as worthy of shelf space as, say, Dr. Phil and yet I’ve been beaten down by rejection so many times I have to pause and wonder if it’s worth it.
I wrote 950 pages the year after my first little novel sold. That’s roughly a quarter of a million words. I wrote my little heart out, trying to sell another book. I didn’t sell a single word. Zip. Nothing. Reject. Try again. Do over. Over and over and over again. Talk about an experience in humility. It’s enough to bring a tear to your eye, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah.
Strangely enough, I’m still writing. Whether it’s a triumphant story of perseverance and talent or a cautionary tale of failure and despair remains to be seen. But I’ll keep at it until they pry my cold, dead fingers from the keyboard. Why? Because back there in that last paragraph I wrote “my first little novel” without even thinking about it. Only someone truly in love with writing (or truly stupid?) would write “first” in the same sentence mentioning 950 unsold pages of blood, sweat and tears. I guess I must believe it’s worth the rejection and the insecurities and the depression and the drinking problem (well, not yet… but we all know it’s only a matter of time) and the sheer terror of failing yet again, in the hopes that I’ll once again be among the countless authors taking up space at Barnes and Noble. Otherwise I wouldn’t write “first,” right?
Yeah, it’s worth it. That kind of blissed out nirvana is worth whatever suffering it takes to get there. I just need to remind myself of that more often.