Last night I was at my newly formed writing group. We are meeting rather sporadically but I think that will change as we find the rhythm that works for us. We are four quite different humans and writers but we seem to jog along together in a helpful way. All good.
One of us was in a funk last night. Distraught about the lack of time to write and awash in the futility thing that overwhelms all of us from time to time - believing that the courtship of agents and publishers was beyond the capabilities possessed and 'what's the point when there is quite enough good fiction out there'. I'm sure for most of us I don't need to say more for you to get the drift.
I spoke up like the Pollyanna I can be (I'm sure to the irritation of others but there...) and told this person of my own trials and tribulations of finding my dear sweet patootie. How I despaired and read that the chances of a woman over forty finding a relationship was as likely as winning the lottery or being hit by lightening. And that I was tall (nearly six feet) bossy and picky wasn't in my favour either. But I did it. I kept sending out arrows of love through the long lonely years of no-special-guydom. People told I should give up, that my longing was being read as neediness, what did I need a man for, didn't I have good friends, nice kids, a spiritual practice and a job? But I ignored their pleas for me to recall my sanity and settle for the rich life I had. I wanted a partner. I know they aren't for everybody but a marriage of some sort was for me. And I beat the odds in a spectacular way. I won the lottery of love and got hit by the lightening bolt of incandescent love. A week today it will be the ninth anniversary of our first date - a walk around the Dingle Peninsula with both of us thinking - jeesh, nice person but not my cup of tea. For we both stuck it out - we both knew (as we had met through an online dating service) that we were in it for a real commitment so we got to know each other slowly and surely and ZOWIE - best guy in the world for me and I know - me for him.
So the odds of me getting published are pretty piss poor. The industry is suffering, there is a surfeit of good writers, I'm too tall, too bossy and too picky (oh, maybe that doesn't matter here - well, that's why they call it a metaphor). But I know writing books is for me and I won't settle for the decided joys of writing blog posts, having the occasional poem published and tinkering. No - I will send out my arrows of love - I will become a better writer by writing, I will transcend my age, my particular style, my hopes and fears and I will find that publishing winning lottery ticket, that fantastic bolt of agental lightening. Because I - my dears - am a writer.
The challenge today is to find one person in your field (novel writing, painting, photography, loving, ) what ever your dream is - find one person who has beat the odds in that field. Who found a publisher without an agent or an agent without an intro - who was your age, gender, or whatever it might be that you think is against the odds of you getting what you want. If one person has beaten the odds for getting their particular dream met - then so can you.
Go! Quit dithering about. Now.