There are hard days. I seem to be having a lot of them lately.
There are days–and mind you, I’ve racked up more than eight years of them now–when another day without a sale is like another pass of sandpaper over my skin, another ounce of stone added to the weight on my back; another day, proof positive, that I am not good enough.
In eight years only one day has not been a day like that.
It was okay for the first four years. I expected it. Years five, six and seven were less easy, but still, I was learning everything I could from anyone who would teach me. I was working hard and I was sure I’d get there some day soon. This year has been the hardest, partly because of that one day that was the exception, but also because I’ve got to know so many other writers who have been successful–sooner, and more often. I have friends who have achieved in a year or two what I’ve been working at for almost a decade. Hell, I know someone who sold their very first submission this week. First. Submission. Ever. Sold.
I am surrounded by success right now, and there are days when it is almost more than I can handle. Almost.
Jeremy posted about the value of stubbornness today. Go read it. He’s right. I know he’s right, I know that’s the quality that I need, and it’s the one that got me this far. I mean, who does this for eight years without a serious stubborn streak? It’s in me, no question. Right now I don’t feel stubborn, I feel weak and and broken and completely alone in my failure.
I try to remember Jay Lake’s words on the subject. I try to remember that this is normal. I try to convince myself that I just have to put one word after the other for a little while longer.
Today I am not convinced.