Today, while looking at the work of an enormously talented young artist who is doing a cover for me and later finding a diffident comment from her, I wanted to scream “you’ll be all right!”
Look, I lived through 13 years of darkness, when everything sent out came back twice as fast. And I didn’t know if I’d ever be published.
Looking back now, I want to reach through the years and smack my younger self across the snout. Because having seen enough people come up through the ranks of writers and artists, and publishers, I was always going to make it.
No, it wasn’t event talent. I still don’t know if I have any of that. And honestly, in the long run it seems …. superfluous. It’s a very good thing if you have it, but also likely to trip you up, by not making you work hard enough at the beginning.
Look, as I tell my kids, who also ignore me, in this world we each mostly get what we really, really want. And are willing to work for.
If you really want to do art/writing and you’re willing to work for it, you’ll get to where you’re a professional.
If you love your craft and are always studying ways to learn and improve? You’ll make a living from your craft for a time span of some years.
If you do both, there is a good chance you’ll be reasonably well known.
Look, there are no guarantees. Major bestsellerdom, or people buying your stuff for half a mil is as much luck as anything else. Everything aligns “just” right, and you’re there.
But “simply” breaking in and making a decent living?
That’s a matter of you pays down your dust, you collects your winnings.
Don’t make the mistake I did and spend years frustrated and terrified and sure you weren’t “worthy” of making it in.
Steady as she goes, kid. You’re gonna make it.