Maybe if I don’t look at it

So there’s a thing that’s been bugging me.

Prior to making it a professional endeavor, I was pretty selective about what I read in regards to writing. I devoured posts on how-to, mostly – how to write a query, how to write a synopsis, how to find a good agent. I would also read Chuck Wendig’s terribleminds blog.

Now I’m working on saying hi to the community, and there are some awesome people there. I’m glad my agent gave me social media homework and made me get in the pool. Great folks, interesting ideas. Lots to see and hear. Good stuff. Mostly. Thank you for being awesome, people. You know who you are.

But also some bewildering stuff. Some incomprehensible stuff. Some stuff I Just Don’t Get.

Let’s talk about the Infallibility Theorem. Why do I keep getting this vibe that a writer must make every choice correctly the very first time? Where else in life is that an absolute? I’m not saying it doesn’t help. I’m not saying that I don’t see that too many poor choices can lead to disaster and the end of a career – but isn’t that true of a lot of careers?

Mileage varies. There’s always someone ready to tell you what to do. My responsibility is to check my compass and decide whether to stay or change course. I’m working on remembering that even though I’m the new kid here, that’s just here – whatever life experience I’ve managed to garner is still valid and the compass is just as reliable as it ever was. I am not really adrift, even if this is a strange new sea.

So if you find yourself confronting the Infallibility Sea Monster, or its smaller cousin, the Perfection Kraken, my advice is close your eyes and repeat these wise words from Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

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