Do you ever get the feeling you’re being judged?
My geriatric lab got all snippety with me yesterday when I laughed out loud. Granted it was just the two of us in the house, but still, she acted like I had been pushed off the Cliffs of Insanity and she wanted nothing more to do with me.
She scrambled to her feet, gave me a backward glance with ears down and pity in her eyes and sauntered off to the laundry room. Pretty good for a dog with bad shoulders. Pretty clear message, as well.
The dark, hot, noisy, smelly room was preferable to my laughter and the fact that I was one statistic away from being that writer. A lunatic. The poet who pens horrible stanzas whenever they loosen the restraints or flings herself off the Cliffs.
I can promise you, I’m not that kind of writer. Though I can see how it happens. A few questionable threads on writer’s boards of late and a few down in the dumps blog posts in the blogosphere make the leap not so wild.
Sometimes when we get rejections from agents or editors we feel as if we are being judged personally. We get defensive. Yell an invective or two. Laugh maniacally while making promises to stalk agents in bathroom stalls at conferences.
We often feel this same sense of judgement when we receive our manuscripts back from our critters, or when we enter an online contest and don’t get picked. Even if the contest was The Crappiest 250 Words to Start a Novel in the History of Writing.
Our writer’s egos can be so fragile.
So what keeps us going? In the face of horrible odds (and I paraphrase: being in the 99th percent isn’t good enough…), shoe boxes filled with rejections and scrawled red pen on our precious manuscripts, we continue to put ourselves out there.
I often wonder if it is writing that makes us crazy or if crazy people are drawn to writing.
Really, I feel perfectly sane. On most days. Not at all inclined to hear voices in my head. Or celebrate invisible muses. Pray for plot bunnies. Break down and throw the computer out the window if I get one more e-jection. None of that stuff.
I’m perfectly normal.
Just like you.
Oh wait, you’re a writer too!
Have a great day : )