Do you want to know what the worst part about being a writer is? The waiting game. From the time of completion to submission to getting feedback (if any), it feels like time stands still – but it really doesn’t. You get greyer and notice you have less tolerance for noisy teenagers in the cinema.
But patience is a virtue, they say. Right. Even if it means diddlysquat at the end of the day? Think about this for a second: most writers will tell you that less than 5% of their completed projects actually reach their desired audience. That’s incredibly low odds and helluva demoralising for anyone. So, what do you do? Do you give up? Do you start selling drugs? No. You carry on writing.
It sounds simple enough. As soon as you finish something, get started on the next thing and power on. What we don’t take into account, however, is that silly little thing we call a brain. It messes with you and causes you lingering self-doubt, making you question if it’s even worth starting something else. I’d love to tell you there’s an off switch to this, but it’s more a case of reprogramming your mindset. It’s not easy, though.
Personally, I’ve reached a point in my creative life where I’ve come to terms with why I do what I do – and it’s tied to the truth about the entertainment industry. There’s no science to this game; it’s all dumb luck. I’ve written articles and stories, which in my opinion were some of my best work, and they hardly made a dent. On the other hand, something that I thought was okay (and let’s be honest, we all know when something isn’t our best work deep down inside) knocked the lights out. How do you explain that?
If it’s all down to luck, then the only way to improve your chances is by increasing your output. The more you do, the more chance you have of succeeding. Furthermore, if you’re enjoying what you do, why not do more of it? Take away the pressure of money and expectations of success, and focus on doing what you do for the right reasons. There’s enough soulless art in the world, so be different and create because you want to. So, stop waiting and start writing.