I think it’s safe to assume that most writers are sensitive people. I mean, without a sensitivity to the human condition, how could anyone write insightful characters living in a fictional world? And who’d want to read it?
Me? I’m one of those people who are sensitive but willing to suffer and absorb significant punishment to achieve whatever I’m trying to do. I expect life to be hard, but I’m not immune to pain. Not everyone can keep getting punched in the mouth and drag themselves off the canvas for more.
So, I sometimes wonder how many writers just check out at some point. How much rejection can any one person take before it begins to suck all the fun out of writing? Whenever I start thinking like this, I remind myself of a few things.
One — the actual writing part, the part where you’re sitting down and creating a world with characters who begin to reveal themselves as the story progresses — that part is like the best drug in the world. Seriously. It’s so much fun I actually feel sorry for people who don’t get to experience it.
Two — if you can focus on that, everything else doesn’t matter. Sure, every writer wants someone to read their work, to fall in love with these flawed people who live in this fictive world, but it turns out there are apparently more writers than there are readers. If supply outstrips demand, the product’s value diminishes. And if you want to sell a book, that means it’s a product, whether you like it or not. Welcome to that sticky nexus between art and commerce. Mind your step — it’s easy to get hurt in this god-forsaken place.
Here’s the point: The only thing you can control is the actual process of creating art. Turns out that’s also where the fun is.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.