Last week I posted about that feeling you get called "why bother?" We get tired of running uphill and on the bad days think downhill doesn't exist . . . at least for us. We envision published writers as lottery winners. Their stars aligned with the planets. They had connections. We admit to ourselves in the shower that these writers have brilliance our minds will never comprehend.
So we want to call it quits.
James Scott Bell released a book for writers entitled The Art of War for Writers.
"You have to know, going in, that you need to develop Rhino skin to survive. The good news is you can develop it. Every time you come back from a set-back and write some more, you create a little more of that protective coating, that inner strength."
Okay, like that's going to help me when I'm crying over my keyboard. Get tough. Try harder. That's not it. Well, it is, but it isn't. We have to be strong, even when we cry, scream and throw manuscripts against the wall. But don't tell me to "man up." In my mind it's not a choice.
It's simple, really. We write because we hate to think of not writing. To me it's like giving up iced tea when I've grown up with it my entire life. That first sip when you're thirsty is sublime. And it has to be sweet tea. When I moved to Phoenix for three years, nobody had sweet tea and couldn't imagine why it mattered to me. After all, it was only sugar and tea. No it wasn't. It was tea slowly brought to temperature, blended with sugar, then poured into a pitcher and diluted with cold water. I grew up with it. It's picnics, Sunday dinner, summer days, fried chicken, a cold glass on a hot forehead after pulling weeds in the garden. It's a part of my being. I made my own while in Arizona, but the water was a little different, and ordering water when going out to eat almost ruined the meal.
It's my fix.
Writing is my fix. It's a selfish fix, I know. It's time consuming and involves nobody else in the process. But it enables me for everything else in my world. I'm not kidding. Ask my family. I'm a nicer person when I write well.
To others it might be that perfect beer or even a great glass of wine. A fine cigar. Good sex. You relish the moment. You crave the habit. You get weird when you skip days.
Let's call it quits from thinking we should call it quits. Either it's a part of you or it's not. It makes you a better person or it doesn't fit. I don't like anchovies, so I don't eat anchovies. Writing isn't anchovies. It's iced tea. And I'll have a glass in my hand until the day I die.