Friday, January 21, 2011

There are Days

By Russel D McLean

There are days you want to throw in the towel.

You know writing isn't digging ditches. But its tough in a different way. If you take it seriously, you're worried the whole time about the reception your writing's going to get, if your agent/editor/reader is being honest with you, if you are finally going to be found out for the talentless fake you are.

There are days you think,

The critics are right.

I've lost it.

I can't go on.

Seriously. Because you take your craft seriously. Because you sweat over each and every word and you know - you just know - when something's wrong, when something isn't working. And you worry that you can't set it right.

There are days.

And you come close. If it wasn't for your compulsive streak you might even do it, throw in that towel, go and start digging those ditches because at least you see results from your sweat and worry and those results are physical, tangible, clearly seen by all.

There are days.

There are days when someone says something. And that sweat and worry you've had lift, even if for a moment. You think, this person means what they say. This person gets it.

There are days when you're flying high on the rhythm and the writer and reader parts of your brain are singing together in harmony and you think, this is why I do it. This feeling here.

There are days when complete strangers send you a letter, unasked for, to say that you touched them in some way with those words you sweated over. You gave them a moment of joy or even one of thought and reflection (and boy, are those moments the ones that make you want to scream with joy even if you can't quite believe it, think the letter writer must have you confused with someone else).

There are days when you see tangible proof that people are out there and people are reading your work. Not because they have an obligation to do so but because they want to.

There are days.

And those days make the darker ones seem somehow worthwhile. There are days that make you forget the reasons you thought about throwing in the towel.

And on those days.

You smile.


Sabrina E. Ogden said...

You are a beautiful soul. I, as a reader, appreciate every single day you stay at your desk working and slaving to bring people like me enjoyment, reflection, and something to dream about.

Many, many thanks.

Kieran Shea said...

I owe you one pint of lager for this, sir. Hold me to it.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

There are days one needs to read a post like this. Today was one of those days. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Russel..that struck a cord with me & you have nothing to worry about because your writing is so terrific! Just keep it rolling....