Many established writers and even tenderfoots always seem to credit books and libraries and even doting teachers as the reasons they became writers in the first place.
But hardly anyone talks about revenge.
Well, ok, George Orwell does. But he talks about it as sheer egoism. I’d like to talk about it as sheer pleasure.
With every word I write, it’s like a poke in the eye to every grown-up who snubbed me as a child and to every grown-up who snubs me as an adult. Or sometimes, when the writing is going badly, every word becomes a kick in the balls to said grown-ups who condescend and scoff and pretend they didn’t hear you when you say you write and hope to get published so as to live beyond death, appear clever, and get talked about by the same people who claim you’ll never make it.
There is a certain pleasure in driving oneself mad, pushing oneself to attain something that at times seems unattainable. Sometimes I think I’m this nitwit who claims to have seen an eastern cougar in Maine, which turns out to be a bunny.
But damn it, bunny or cougar, you know, it’s still a lovely hunt, this drive to see myself as more than the struggling writer kicking and punching at the Pearly Gates of the publishing world while the angels glance down and wonder what all that noise is about while the devils poke up their horned heads and take interest. In fact, my time spent as a student at Stonecoast has put me in close proximity to a wonderful cadre of writing devils who have taken an interest in my work as well as in me as a person while the angels of the publishing world dance on the heads of their pins.
So, yes, maybe pleasure is over-rated (seems to when it comes to bestsellers), but what’s really under-rated is that revenge is a fantastic motivator. Every word becomes important when you relish the idea that for each word written, another naysayer is erased. And what an accomplishment it is when you finish a novel, sit back, sip your tea, and rub your hands together, squealing with delight at all the bastards who wanted to grind you down but failed.
You have a finished book. The revenge is finally complete.
Although there is that slight problem of who now will publish it? No problem. Those editors and agents are not the enemy, they are allies, as long as you can dazzle them into submission. This is where that secret weapon called sheer egoism should be unveiled.
Thanks for that George!