by Lillian Csernica on August 16, 2013
A writer’s life is a day in, day out process. It takes a whole lot of energy to make any visible progress, and that progress is often visible only to the individual writer himself or herself. The social media revolution has taken some of the loneliness out of the work, but all too often we are left to celebrate our little victories all by ourselves.
That is the key to survival, on both emotional and professional levels. It’s good to have a Significant Other or a roommate or a parent or even a pet to celebrate with, to share those golden moments of success and validation. Right now I’m talking about the little moments, the vitamins and minerals of the writing life that keep us going.
The right word finally comes to mind. Not a good word, not a synonym, but the very exact precise RIGHT word!!!
The joy of knowing we’ve done a good day’s work. Maybe we don’t have all that much to show for it, but we still put in the time and the effort.
Getting a personal rejection that includes encouraging comments and the invitation to submit again. I did the happy dance the first time I got a rejection slip with handwritten personal comments on it. That’s progress! That means the story meant enough to that editor to merit personal feedback.
Working hard enough and sending stories out often enough that you develop a feel for which market a story might be right for even while you’re still creating it. You know Editor A likes high fantasy, while Editor B prefers the Conan school of blood and thunder. You can shape your story accordingly, or go at it your own way. You have options! Options are good!
The acceptance letter. A sale, with a contract, for whatever financial arrangement that market offers. Success!
Getting the print copy or the e-book that is your novel or includes your short story. Oh wow. All hail the Age of Electronics, sure, but to me there ain’t nothin’ better than holding your own book in your two hands. I write my romance novels under a pen name, but I can open up that back cover and show people my photo. Yep, that’s me! I wrote this!
And we go through this process again. And again. And again, because this is what we do. We are writers. We write. We keep the faith and tell our stories and send them out into the marketplace to catch the eye of an editor who wants our stories to be part of their projects. Our novels join the ranks of published works. We succeed step by step on the business level. More than that, we sustain all that sound and fury that signifies so much inside our imaginations.
The life of the artist is not an easy life to live, because most of us are driven to create art due to the turbulent forces inside us. This is another big reason why we have to squeeze all the happy juju out of all the little victories we achieve. They will sustain our spirits until the next Big Moment comes along.