"Never give up" is the kind of thing you often hear people say in the movies.
However, in real life, unlike the movies,
when things don’t go to plan,
no subtle background music kicks in to emphasize that in half an hour’s time you will bounce back and achieve your dreams.
Now, Writer's Digest harps on the "Never Give Up" mantra –
partly because their writers want you to buy another book called Never Give Up on Buying Books About Never Giving Up.
"Never Give Up! Never Surrender!" was the rallying cry for the fun movie, Galaxy Quest ...
as if a go-getter attitude alone could break down locked doors or blow up enemy spacecraft.
However, in real life persevering against the odds can seem like a never-ending and not particularly fruitful process.
The agent, Jean Kitson, was once asked if writers should ever give up.
She said this:
"The absolute worst that can happen is that you’ll spend a chunk of your time doing something creative that you love, and for a lot of people it may never go any further than that.
But if you don’t consider your writing a waste of time in itself, if it’s feeding a need in you, then it is not wasted."
So what have Hibbs and I given up?
The thought that I am ever going to be a successful, self-supporting author.
There are worse fates. I know. I have survived some of them:
house fires, cancer, being forced out of my city by hurricane, surviving alone on the streets of Detroit and New Orleans.
There are, indeed, worse fates.
It has empowered me, freed me.
I can enjoy my writing again. I can rejoice in the successes of my writing friends instead of whining:
"Why them? Why not me?"
Why them? Why not them?
We don't know how they got there, their background, their support system.
Lightning hits where it hits.
So no one is buying my books. Life happens.
I am not in the major data flow of the internet and have no clue how to get there.
So Big Surprise --
I am the tiny mushroom growing unnoticed in the abandoned cellar of the Internet.
I am now free to grow better in my writing from chapter to chapter
with the pressure of the worry of "If I will succeed" gone.
I am not going to succeed.
Not all fights can be won. But that doesn't mean you stop fighting them.
I focus on the wonder of "Creatio ex nihilio" --
to create something from nothing. How cool is that?
If we are not careful, we start to believe that the Destination is Life. No.
The Journey to that Destination is Life.
High School was not Graduation.
It was all those years, those friendships, those hurts ... that was High School.
And those years were over so soon -- never to come back again.
I reward myself now when I have completed a difficult chapter.
I try to end my writing day on a high note of laughter or sense of satisfaction of a hard task done.
I focus on the next paragraph.
I let the last chapter take care of itself. I will get there eventually.
You will get to the end of your novel eventually if you keep on.
Worrying, stressing over if you will ever become a successful author will only rob you of the joy of creation.
Give Up the Burden of Worrying Over Success.
Embrace the Moment, Savor the Thrill of Creation.
That tiny voice cheering you on from the cellar?
That's small mushroom me. Wave back.
The Journey is the Reward.***
Oh, the best thing said of my writing?
"That gave me chills and tears in the eyes."