“It's funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating.”
~From Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy
Chasing the dream of publication can be a frustrating, time consuming, no-end-in-sight, life-sucking barrage of rejections stating that you, the author, though perhaps promising (but agents often don't have the time to tell you that), are not good enough. Period. So, why do we do it?
I believe we’re a bit like pirates—we like the game plan talks with the captain, we like sanding the splinters from our peg-legs and shining our eyepatches. And sure, we often follow a map straight to “X” marks the spot, only to find that some a-hole either:
A) played a trick on us--there's no treasure on this island
B) the map we chose to follow is a little off
C) we took a wrong turn at the coconut tree
Yet still we continue to sail around, full of sea air and rum, because really, it IS about the journey. The final result is awesome, that’s for certain, me-hearties (spelling?), but when the elusive treasure is finally found, that’s not the end at all. Because we have chosen a life of adventure—it’s the thrill of the next story, the pursuit of pillaging new territory—the gold fever of writing just won’t let us go.
In conclusion, rejection sucks. It’s unsettling and, after a number of people tell you “no,” can make you question why you wanted to be a Pirate, er, Writer, in the first place. But take a look around you—you’ve got a whole crew along on the trip too, thirsting for treasure just as much as you.
In the meantime, while we drift into unknown waters, getting nervous and giddy, knowing that success could be around the next corner, let’s not forget to honor the adventurous spirit of the life we’ve chosen.
It’s not easy. It’s got ups and downs. You'll rack up a number of scars along the way. But you’ve got goals and you’ve got friends in the same boat. So drink up (coffee or rum), polish for preparation (your sword or manuscript), sing a jolly song (of riches galore or publication), and brace yourself. Pirates and writers both need sea legs.