Running feet, oil on canvas, 24X36, Carol L. Douglas
If you think painters have a hard time, you should consider the unpublished novelist. He struggles for months or years on a single work, getting very little feedback. When it’s finished, he peddles it to publishers through a faceless formality called the query letter. He has to be braced for responses from lukewarm to cold. Based on some of the responses he’ll get, publishers apparently hate writers.
One of my friends is doing this right now. The end of her book has coincided with an economic crisis, making the process even more difficult. It’s been very hard to watch her struggle with professional rejection at the same time that her life is so chaotic. I know nothing about the business of writing, meaning that I have absolutely no constructive help to offer.
This is why I was so chuffed to get a text from her last night: “Nervous. Editor has asked for book.”
Waiting, oil on canvas, 24X36, Carol L. Douglas
One of the great things about being old is that you know that seasons of trouble, inertia, doubt, and failure eventually pass. The best artist isn’t the most talented; he’s the one who clings most ferociously to his craft in the face of trouble.