I run great risk of failing. It may be that I shall encounter ruin
where I look for reputation and a career of honor. The chances are
perhaps more in favour of ruin than of success. But, whatever may be
the chances, I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the
fight are at my disposal.
– Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) English Novelist
I love this quote. As creative persons (a.k.a. writers), we continually run the risk of failing, and failing miserably.
There will be readers who e-mail us, not to praise us, but to complain that the ending was horrible, that no man would ever say those words, that no woman would ever react that way. They will tell you that your facts are wrong, that trains didn’t exist then…even if your pile of research books sitting beside you as you politely type a response say otherwise.
There will be agents who say your work simply isn’t publishable at this time. Not because it isn’t good writing, but because you missed the trend train, and your topic has “come and gone.” Still other agents will request a partial, or even a full, only to back out for some reason which cuts your heart in two.
Your publisher, should you find one, may put a Fabio-like beast of a man on your cover, despite your claims that you’re writing a sweet romance. Why do they do this to you? Because they know, really, they know, that sex sells. Even to people that don’t want to see sex on the cover. Even if the book doesn’t have an ounce of actual sex within it. Go figure.
So why do we keep writing? Why do we pursue a published career? Why do we do this to ourselves?
Because we must. It’s what we know, it’s what we breathe (sometimes), it’s what drives us through the Writer’s Block and Purple Prose and 2D characters. We have a story to tell, we writers, one that cannot be silenced by external distractions, or doubts.
Continue to write, despite your fears you’re not as good as you think you are. You’re only right if you stop writing, stop practicing, stop reading. Everything will fall into place, and you’ll find yourself with a work that shines. Always know that you have at least one person in your corner rooting for you, and her name is Worderella.