Thursday, April 24, 2008

Greg van Eekhout on Writing

Just listened to the latest episode of Adventures in Scifi Publishing and here's one statement from Greg van Eekhout that struck me:
Shaun Farrel: What encouragement do you have for people who still haven't had those sales? What do you have to say to them as they're still banging their heads?

Greg van Eekhout: What I told myself is that I want to do it, I know it's possible to do it, it's probably just a matter of time. The limiting factor is the amount of energy and spirit I have to continuously fail, and writing--not just publishing--writing itself is a process of continuous failure. Every time I write a sentence, it's not the pristine sentence I had in my head. It's a failure. Every time you submit something and it doesn't come back with, you know, yes Banana, we'll give you money for this. It's failure. It really is, it's very easy to quit.

What I keep telling myself is that every day that I write, every day I don't quit, I beat the thousand people that quit that day, and I beat the ten thousand people who never even tried that day.

Now there's not a thousand people who quit everyday probably, not ten thousand who never try. It's not literally a contest but especially when I was in my 20's and just really trying to get into that first publication, framing it into that kind of competitive nature actually helped me but it's not actually a competition. You don't have to take out other writers in the kneecaps or anything like that. Just keep trying, keep trying as long as you're getting some fun or joy or satisfaction from it, keep doing it. And honestly, if it's making you miserable, stop. Life's too short to do something that makes you miserable. There are many, many other things you can do that will be fulfilling. Do those things but otherwise, keep going.
I'm now off to break some kneecaps... (I keep a sledge hammer hidden in my backpack)

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