The only answer

I put my hand to my mouth. My front teeth crumbled at the touch, powdery pieces falling into my palms. Oh God. This can’t be fixed. I’m going to lose them all. I’m going to lose everything.

And then I woke up. It was the morning of Black Friday, one of my favorite days of the year. My family doesn’t go out. Instead we drag out the decorations and spend the day eating cold turkey sandwiches, listening to cheesy old crooners caroling, and putting up the tree. But this year’s Black Friday marked something else for me: a missed deadline.

I had really, really wanted to start querying agents on my novel before the holidays hit. But despite having a pretty damn good work ethic the last few months, the book wasn’t ready. It still isn’t. And I’m not going to send it out until it is.

One of the toughest things about being a writer is staying motivated. It’s hard to see those carefully-crafted stories come bouncing back with form rejections, even when you’ve got a system set in place to send them right back out again. It’s hard to deal when you miss deadlines, even when they’re self-imposed, hell, especially when they’re self imposed, because you’ve let yourself down and no one really understands, because can’t you just move that goal-post again? It’s not like anyone important was counting on you to deliver. Just you, just little old nobody you.

George Michael knows what I'm talking about

Sometimes it’s not even about getting back on the horse, it’s about staying on that bucking bronc in the first goddamn place. Don’t fall off. Don’t fall off. Hold on tight with everything you’ve got, and don’t fall off.


I was really depressed for a couple of days. I took care of some external business that was stressing me out and blocking me, I spent some time with my family, and I kept writing. That’s the only way I know to stay on- just keep on plodding up that hill, head down, shuffling. Cry if you have to, know what I mean? But just keep writing, every day.

That’s it. That’s the only answer.