http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/ posted this today:
"Every successful debut book should be viewed on the order of a minor miracle. It's like throwing a manuscript across a river of paper-eating snakes and crocodiles and hoping that all the pages reach the other side. Success is hard and rare, and there is an incredible array of obstacles along the way. Success is not the default, and success does not come easily."
And while he was pointing out that some writers think success should come easily and something is wrong with the system if it doesn't (i.e. if an agent doesn't take them on or an editor shower them with money), his words spoke to me in another fashion. First let me say I harbor no hard feelings to agents that have rejected me and I see nothing wrong with the present system of "query first, manuscript on request". What his words said to me is that this is reality and getting published is very hard. Yet this message barely breaks the skin.
See, I have this infinite hope that I will see my name in print someday. Never mind the money issue. Never mind some author's hopes for fame and glory, I just want to see my name on books. And as many books as possible. Is this weird? Maybe. And maybe even a little self-centered, though I think of it as a contribution to the world not to my ego. I want to contribute, I want to create. I'm willing to work, willing to create.
And Nathan Bransford's words struck home because I KNOW it's nearly impossible to get published at all--that it's nothing short of a miracle. But I believe in miracles and in spite of everything, I hope for that day I can pull my book out of shelf of a library or bookstore and hand it to my kids to read. I consciously or subconciously ignore all voices that say that I can't make it. I live in ignorance of the climb ahead of me and I'm at peace with that.
So what about you? What things do people say you can't do and all you hear is "try harder"?
(BTW: I have a great deal of respect for Nathan Bransford. His blog is my favorite agent blog and if there are any wannabe authors reading this, you're missing out if you don't follow his blog. I'm just saying...)