Sometimes a brand new writer will leap onto the publishing or screenwriting stage, keyboard blazing, and become an instant phenom. So I’m told.

Others dig in, hunker down in the trenches for a long haul that can seem to stretch into eternity. This one I know.

A quick glance at my list of accomplishments “Written for Screen and Page” shows a writer who loves their own personal process and writing experience so much that the journey is as big a part of the reasons why as means to an end. All those screenwriting competition advancements and almosts help immensely, especially on the days when almost seems like never.

So do the compliments I get from TPTB during the long haul. Agents have said I have a very polished writing style, the novel in question gets off to a great start, the project sounds way cool or smart and enticing, even given me referrals to other agents. Editors of major short fiction publications have called my writing beautiful, my ideas interesting, said how much they enjoy reading a particular submission, that I certainly know how to write. I’ve been told my science fiction reminds friends of Walter M. Miller and Rod Serling. Two different people shockingly told me they like my science fiction more than Heinlein’s. An editor with extremely fine taste called a story of mine that he bought perfect. He also said the writing in another was good, another great, and yet another fantastic. But he didn’t always buy them.

Why am I pouring out this laundry list of awesomeness my endeavors encounter? Because I know it’s a little (at least) bizarre to do so incredibly well while literally living in the depths of the trenches in spite of it. I’ve learned that the words logical progression don’t apply to me. Oddly, when I can feel detached enough about it all, I find the road I’m on a fascinating study in what can happen, opposed to what is “supposed” to.

I also know I cannot be the only one. It’s helped me along the way to come across accounts of other writers and screenwriters balancing on the brink, waiting to be snatched high to the heavens or kicked off the cliff, even as they carry on both doing what they love in pouring words from brain, to fingers, to keyboard, to page, and the drudgework of queries and submissions packages all tied up with pretty bows made of hopes and dreams and grudgingly earned patience.

I get hurt, of course.  Quite a lot. An agent request for a full novel manuscript got me a rejected brickbat back in the mail, completely marked up with all that was “wrong” with it, including scam alarm bells in the form of horrible grammar in their attempts to show me how bad I was and info on a book doctor. That agent later showed up on Preditors and Editors, and not in a good way. I’ve been backstabbed, misled, and flat out lied to. In multiples of each.

I’ve also been encouraged, nurtured, soul fed, and given the great gift of unshakable faith in my writing from family, friends, and strangers. There are generous natured people in the great wide world who exist only to spread good like stardust and others who exist only to tear down hope and faith and any hint of success like a plague. 

Choose to be the stardust spreader. The one who believes in others’ hopes and dreams a lot, and your own more. Find joy in what you do. Try hard to let that be enough, even as you reach high beyond your fingertips for the elusive source of that stardust…the stars themselves.