Among the headlines almost lost this week in the stories about the devastating earthquake in Haiti was an article in the Wall Street Journal about the almost luckless pursuit of publishing through the slush pile. Of course, my writer friends passed it around through email and blogs. I will not post it here because I found it utterly depressing, yet I knew the truth already: Writing is hard. Very few people become successful. Even if you work hard, write well, and submit your work, you may not make it.
Yes, yes, I know all of this!
I often try to connect writing to something else in life. Writing is like gardening, writing is like raising children...I'm sure you've heard those sweet analogies. Writing is like having OCD, writing is like belonging to a cult, writing is an addiction...The more unpleasant analogies I've found.
Yet, I keep going. Why? Sometimes I'm not sure I know. I do know children need books. Children need places to go outside of their own world, children need to know someone knows what it feels like (even if that someone is a character in a book). Children need a connection.
I keep writing for them--and for me. I need those things too.
Take that slush pile!