Some of the birthday sussies from my writing gals. Allison Pang sent the fab martini glass. It’s a quote from Dorothy Parker: “I like to have a martini, Two at the most. Three, I’m under the table. Four, I’m under my host.” Apropos in so many ways! Marcella sent the dramatic Mardis Gras ring, which embodies Ruby. And Laura Bickle sent the gorgeous sun pendant, which has a special meaning, celebrating this summer.
This kind of support – thoughtful celebrations like this – mean a great deal to me as a writer. It can be a lonely and difficult business, so these little joys, and reassurances that someone else cares, can make all the difference.
We all know – there always seem to be plenty of people waiting to undermine what you’re doing.
I read this article the other day. It’s an excellent and insightful essay by nonfiction writer Rebecca Solnit on how men reflexively tend to explain things to women. Often without regard for the woman’s expertise and education. And if you guys out there are feeling irritated – I followed this link from a male Twitter friend, who recommended it. But it was funny, as these things often seem to happen, I read this article on the same day that I had an annoying encounter.
We were having lunch with one of David’s colleagues and the conversation was quite stilted. At one point, I think in an attempt to find a congenial topic – and to include me in the conversation – David said that my book had come out a few weeks ago and my pic was in the NYT. The man looked puzzled and asked, “your book?” I said yes, the most recent one. He asked how many I have written, so I explained about the various novellas and the recent published novel. When I finish, he frowns at me and says, “I thought it was really hard to get published.”
I was so taken aback that I didn’t have an immediate reply. Other than to toss my hair and giggle. He didn’t need me to answer that, though, because he launched into a story about a friend who wrote a book – which he thought was a really good and valuable book – and could never get it published. I just nodded, smiled and ate my lunch. And let him explain the publishing business to me.
I’m at a point in my career where this kind of idle slam means little to me. I can shrug it off, because I clearly have more expertise in this arena than he does. Yes it’s difficult. I happen to be good at what I do. Plus, I’m persistent – something his friend wasn’t.
But for all of you out there still aspiring, who don’t have that real- life experience to fall back on? Don’t listen to these people, please. Never listen to the people who haven’t done it.
And trust in yourself and your own dreams. Your own persistence.
Have a great weekend everyone!