Sweat, Determination, and…Delusion?

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
–Colin Powell

I’ll admit, the hard work that writing actually is was a bit of a surprise to me when I started writing fiction. But it was work I took to immediately–it’s the first “job” (non-paying at the moment, of course) I’ve ever had where I’m happier the harder I work. I’m like a pig in mud, as they say, when it comes to learning more about the craft of writing, which I’ve done through reading, taking classes, joining professional associations, networking with other writers, and going to conferences. It’s a LOT of work, and it takes up a lot of my time (ask poor Mr. Bud, again, the most patient of the patient). And I love every minute of it…

…even though sometimes (okay, lots of times) it seems like I’ll never pay back my investment of all this time and effort. I still despair that my work will never be good enough to be published, because there’s just too much to learn and it’s all so contradictory and confusing.

But once in a while, I’ll read back over a paragraph or section–or even a whole chapter–I’ve written, and I’m shocked by how good it is because I’ve subconsciously applied something I’ve learned in my studies, and I think, “Wow. Maybe I do have a chance of being published one day!” Then I read something I did that absolutely sucks and think, “Or not.” And that’s when I realize–the reward in my writing may very well have to be my own personal one, and even if I never get published, maybe I can at least leave some really, really good manuscripts that my nieces (and nephew, but I don’t think he’s much of a chick book reader) can read and say, “You know what? Aunt Linda was an amazing writer!”

Oh, well, live in hope, die in despair as an obviously cynical friend of mine used to say.

One thing I think (hope) I’ll never be, though is as deluded as this little guy. And if I am, you hereby have permission to smack some sense into me.

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