For new writers (and also for the rest of us)

So, over at the livejournal mirror of my reflections on the writing for the long haul series, I found myself commenting:

I sort of wish there was some way to tell each new writer, “You’re going to have setbacks, and you’re going to be okay. This isn’t your one big chance. It’s the start of a long and winding (and heartbreaking and glorious) journey.”

And then I realized the way (or a start, anyway) was to turn make that into a post of its own. So I am.

So. If you’re just starting out? It’s not going to be perfect, and there are probably going to be setbacks. But those setbacks aren’t going to be the end of the world, even if it feels like that, especially if it feels like that because this is your first book and everything seems to ride on it.

It doesn’t. There is no one big chance. There are second and third and seventeenth chances, and winding through them all, there’s the crazy and individual and challenging and fabulous road that is your writing and your life.

And it’s going to be okay. Maybe you already know that, or maybe it’ll take a decade or two to learn it, or maybe like most of us you’ll keep learning and forgetting and learning again. But sometimes hearing it again can help, too.

It’s all okay. Your career is not this one moment. It’s a journey and a lifetime.

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