Published May 27, 2019 by swankivy

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Sometimes it’s hard to believe the journey can be so hard if all we ever see are the people who reached the finish line. The struggles along the way are often invisible–and they can make writers think they’re having an atypically difficult time if they’re convinced everybody else “got discovered” faster, with less mess, with fewer crises.

In the movies, they don’t even bore us with the part where it’s a slog because IT’S NOT INTERESTING. It’s the same thing over and over, and days blend together, and the work is sometimes nowhere near as fun as you thought it would be. And when even all that pain still leads to rejection after rejection, sometimes you find yourself saying “I should be there by now. I did all the things. I put in the time and the effort and I think I have something really good. Why isn’t it my turn?”

Luck is always a factor, true; some people were in the right place at the right time but aren’t any more talented than you. But you have to keep doing it, and you cannot under any circumstances skip to the part where you already won if the actual journey is a dealbreaker for you. Worse, I’ve met a few prima donnas in this rat race who think they’re the exception; sure everyone ELSE has to edit, query, workshop, and suffer, but why should THEY? Well, that’s a great way to become resentful and bitter and still never get what you want. The hard parts are necessary parts.

And if you look around at everyone else who’s doing what you’re doing, you’ll be able to find and offer support–which works out way better for everyone involved than simply throwing up your hands and claiming you should be better than this even though you didn’t do the work. Prejudice and unluckiness and endless setbacks happen, yes. They are real. They may be in your way. But you still have to do all the training those picturesque cut-together scenes are screencapped from. You have to do the whole workout, and you have to do the one that looked just like it the day before and the day after. You have to do it when it isn’t interesting. You have to do it when you don’t really want to. You have to do it when someone said you can’t. You have to do it when the voice in YOUR head says you can’t.

You deserve that pretty wrapped success story at the end. Don’t drop out during the hard parts because nobody told you how much you would sweat and cry. We want to see you shine.

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