The turn of another birthday always prompts me to begin something new. For me, this will be the year of the blog. Subjects may vary but the single thread of thought promises to be the aspects of a writing life, from the idea that, as J.R. Lowell once said, “In creating, the only hard thing is to begin,” to the notion of meeting rejection with grace and fortitide, ever moving toward the Holy Grail most writers crave–publication/validation. A curious word combination: “public-validation,” and today’s thought.
Passing a manuscript from agent to editor is a little like asking strangers to lick your ice cream cone and tell you whether or not you should like it. Writers are usually proud of what they write, at least every other month or so: during a solar eclipse; when the planets are aligned toward a northern node; or the full moon shines upon certain lunacy. Other days writers feed their schizophrenia by shredding stacks of paper, written double-sided to save money and trees, and using the result to pack away possessions for the move that will surely come at foreclosure.
Can a living be made at the craft we love? Does the world care for our comments?
Yes and yes, but neither comes to the thin-skinned. Offering our ice cream as a gesture in sharing and not as an exercise in proving that it tastes good, keeps your eye on the treat, not the critique. It is the sane path. Along the trail confidence blooms, projects move forward and success comes. In the end to whom does it matter most?