Any chance to use a Foo Fighters lyric…
This goes out to the ones I love. The small press writers who are flailing around right now. In my work Steamside Chronicles, I describe sliding to 1890 like getting thrown to the bottom of the surf and being scraped on the sand, not knowing which way is up.
What are your writing goals? Are they the same as say, a year ago, when there was some veneer left on the economy?
A good friend is at a conference pitching today. Her writing is great. What are the chances these days, that she’ll get that agent, that pub contract, sell through, write a second, a third? I don’t know. Are the chances worse than they were a year ago? Probably.
If publishing news hasn’t made you change course slightly (perhaps embracing your small press contracts more, petting them and telling them how pretty they are), then perhaps life has gotten in the way of writing bliss. This time last year I was in a kind of stop animation state, waiting for my mom to die. Many writer friends have lost their jobs, their houses, or spouses have. I can think off the top of my head of about six writer friends going through a divorce.
The boot camp writers like to power through these times. I’m not like that. My creativity shrinks to something you need an electron microscopae to see when my heart is tortured by personal circumstances.
But, there’s something we all can count on. Things change. That I guarantee, and you can come back to me in a year for your portion of the Cullen fortune if I’ve told an untruth.
Your hardship will change. It might get worse for a while, and then better. You might land a job on Monday. Or perhaps you’ll need to move in with relatives.
Publishing is changing. Can you hang in there long enough to see if you and publishing can have a meaningful relationship? The good news is that writing will be there for you, when you are ready for it. Will a contract? I don’t know. But I know that if you love to write, nothing, absolutely nothing, can take that away from you. You will still have that love, no matter the economy, or family crisis. If it’s part of who you are, then you carry it with you through all circumstances. If it’s not part of who you are, then there’s no crime in putting it down. Life is short. Don’t angst over things that won’t mean a thing in a few years. Honestly. I’m trying, I am.
Are you hanging in there? What are your goals?