I never really thought about it this way. Never really considered that this was how it was going to be- this is where the hardship lies and this is what they don’t tell you in all those books about writing.
The hard part is not the rejection slips, the hastily written replies that read, “No thanks.” Two words that shrink three years of work into nothing. That I was anticipating. I was waiting for them. Rejection is a well-armed ship and I was standing on the hill, ready for it. Expecting it. I had a sword and everything.
But this was never mentioned. The fact that after I got one of these little numbers, I’d have to keep writing. (Which, I mean, it’s obvious that this is how it would be. I’m silly to have imagined otherwise.) Still, I was ill-prepared for how to do it. I was not ready for what it would take to shake it off and keep going, all in the same day, in the same morning. Day after day after day.
In theory, it’s easy. You just do it. And if there was a pair of Nike sneakers in my vicinity right now, I’d throw them through a window. Because you can’t just do it. Your nasty inner critic has a name now. It has multiple names and multiple places of business, where it gets paid to do this, to say no, to echo your inner-most fears about what you can and can’t do. Learning to shut that voice up was hard enough when it was just me, alone at my computer, willing myself to finish something that possibly no one would read.
But no one ever warned me that the voice would come back and it would bring friends. And that not only would I have to shut them ALL up, I’d have to do it fast and dive right back into a pile of empty pages. I have to learn how to do this now. I have to learn so I’ll learn.
I’m open to suggestions.