Creative Worry

I imagine everyone who needs to be a writer must share the agonies of waiting in silence for the rejection or maybe acceptance. I read of the need for persistence and patience and I understand these things as ideas but I am, by nature, impatient. I expect to achieve by striving, doing, and work. Doggedness is in me and has helped me punch above my weight over the years but this waiting for an anonymous power to judge my work is a painful thing. I feel so devoid of – of what? Power or purpose perhaps.

I used to publish a magazine and did the majority of the work myself. From concept right through to dispatch. That was very satisfying because it was so involving, so complete. It was also frustrating because it was journalism and lacked the creative edge I’ve always wanted.
I have given free reign to my creative urges for a little over three years now and have completed nine and a half novels in that time. After the usual novice rush- too early to submit; I delayed seeking publishing or finding an agent until I was sure I’d polished, prepared, learned and absorbed the abundant wisdom to be found in the ‘how to’ books, blogs and sites. When I’d decided which novel stood the best chance of making it I sent it to an editor and paid her to apply the final polish. A happy frustration.

I think I’ve given myself the best chance and now I’m haunted by the big bogey question. What if no one will take it on? What if all that preparation and work is not enough and it still finds no support? I have met lots of writers of high talent who will not face that question. They put off and polish, afraid to take the step. Others rush and do not prepare or learn and most fail. I did that at first and wounded but wiser, withdrew, regrouped, and took the time to get it better, perhaps still not perfect, but better. How perfect does it need to be I wonder?

How does one learn to wait with equanimity? I’ve not read much about that, except the advice to keep writing. I am trying but I keep wondering what if I’m destined to never succeed? I feel I must write but not for it’s own sake. I crave success. I will never be happy with being self published or unpublished.

I have read many blogs where writers rant about seeing celebrity trash and drivel sitting on shelves while their worthy work sits in the slush piles. I feel that but what bugs me most and what this rant is about is the way this waiting saps the creative juice and makes further creative work so intensely difficult. I know absolutely, if Prairie Companions got picked up, it would liberate me. Free me from that restraint. It would let loose a damn burst of creativity. That’s why I want this so much, why I worry and fret about this failing.

A worried man

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