Jay Lake has written an amazing, if tongue-in-cheek statement of the evolution of a burgeoning spec fic writer.
Gulp. He’s right.
No matter how diplomatic or how calmly the new writer deals with the rejection or the continuing head-butting-against-a-brick-wall feeling, this is truly how they feel deep down.
And yes, I have friends from workshops who are selling short stories and novels, even as I collect lovely piles of rejection letters. I’m truly happy for my friends. Those who are selling, who are under contract, are talented writers. I have other friends who are talented writers who are not yet under contract, and in fact, some who are very talented but not yet querying. I am not jealous of them (okay maybe a little bit, but not enough to wish them ill will, or to give up).
We all must remember that it’s not a race. It’s not a competition. We’re not vying with each other and there is no finish line. It’s not just about talent. It’s sometimes about luck. It’s sometimes about being in the right place at the right time with the right project, and there’s just no predicting that calculus formula. But yes, I do recognize parts of my own inner monologue in Jay Lake’s piece.
And if you’re an aspiring writer…of any stripe…you’ll probably see yourself as well.