Mark Terry

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Mercenary Writer

February 13, 2007

I find today's post to be a lovely little reality-like bookend to my previous whining about being cranky with my one client and annoyed with the publishing industry. I appreciate everybody riding along while I whined, even though what I probably needed was a good dope-slap.

Lynn Viehl has an excellent post about how she was cleaning out her files and ran across a pitch she used to carry with her and how it and quite a number of others got turned down and what she did about it.

Stuff happens. You adapt, you compromise, you keep working. Or you don't.
Those are the choices we sometimes have to make between creating art and making a living.

This hit me where I live. Sometimes you set aside "art" and say, "Hey, I've got bills to pay, so I'm going to do X." I need to remind myself--and I do, often--that I'm doing something that I love, it's going great, and the lifestyle is terrific. Yesterday, while editing the journal that is one of my clients, I went through a chromosome spread and karyotyped it as a double-check. It's the first time I've done this systematically in 2-1/2 years since I left the hospital. I did this hundreds of times a day for years.

I am SO glad I'm not doing this any more.

So an "attitude of gratitude" is probably a good thing. That doesn't mean I won't keep striving. I still have goals, creative and financial, but it's helpful to remember that at pretty much all stages of the fiction game, some variation of rejection is still part of the job.


Mark Terry


Blogger Ron Estrada said...

I remember a famous speaker saying that the definition of success is to have a goal and be in the process of working toward it.

95% of the population lets stuff happen to them. You don't. You're a success. Just be careful the other 95% doesn't bring you down, which often seems to be the only goal they've ever strived for.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah, Ron, that's an interesting point, isn't it? There are plenty of people out there who seem to have nothing better to do than make other people's lives harder, for one reason or another.

I remember Al Kaline once talking about having "a cancer on the bench," referring to that one player who through attitude or whatever, could disrupt everything. And since my wife became a quasi-supervisor, it's pretty clear that every workplace has at least one (and sometimes more).

And I suspect that we as writers (or maybe just me) have to be careful, since we work alone, that we don't become the "cancer on the bench" in our own careers.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

Another rejection letter arrived today for a short story. Aside from still being sore from the accident almost two weeks ago (and dizzy!) now I have to deal with rejection. Bah!
Nothing is ever as easy as it looks to the outsiders. How many times do they say you're so lucky? Everythings easy for you? They have no idea that I have a big Micky Mouse can full of rejection letters. Or how many times I bang my head against the wall when the rejection letters arrive.
I look now to Konrath's words which I have posted on my desktop; What do you call a writer that never gives up?

Any guesses???

5:58 PM  
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