The seven minutes of terror.
Yes, that’s right, the seven minutes after you send a query off to agent, where you check the sent email and scour the sentences, determined to find the inevitable typo or misspelling of the agent’s name.
The seven minutes before you hit send where you read and read again, and are somehow unable to spot the future typo.
The NASA lander touchdowned on Mars last week, an apt name for a machine that will have to endure conditions of extreme temperature, volatile weather and sharp, rocky terrain during it’s lifetime.
But Perservance is a word that any long-suffering writer will be all too familiar with. It is the foundation quality upon which your career will be decided. Not enough of it, and you might not even start or finish that first book. You may finish it, but give up after the rejections of your beloved creation.
A small percentage of people will face all this, and pick themselves up again, show the Spirit that’s required to continue on our own dangerous journey through the rough terrain of the publishing world.
The sharp rock of rejection, or your oxygen-deprived editing brain, or your sub-zero feelings towards that latest crap you’ve written…we face many of the same challenges as the Martian Rovers.
But every day presents a new Opportunity to continue. To open that word document, to swiftly minimise it and open Twitter, to then get a quick snack and coffee before resuming your Twitter scroll, and then finally declaring that you couldn’t possibly write today.
Hope orbits all around us, though. We look at our friends, whose Perseverance has paid off. We stare upon the New Horizons that are presenting themselves, in our future. If only we can steer true, and stay on the road to publication, we will all become Pathfinders.
We develop our craft, Curiosity getting the better of us. We want to learn new things, we want to know how to be better storytellers. We are always seeking for new Insight. We roar at the rejections, at the noise of self-doubt, at the imposter syndrome, like a Viking!
And each time we pick ourselves up and keep going, we develop new ways to motivate ourselves. Our Ingenuity holds no bounds.
We are explorers of new places, of other planets. We may not go to Mars, but we have the power to transport our readers to new worlds, to full them with the awe and wonder of discovery and to seek the rewards that come with the brave level of exploration and perseverance.
And like those Rovers, we must simply keep turning those wheels, drilling down deeper below the surface and observing our world around us. Relentlessly and with all of our passion.
If we can manage that, not every day – we do need to charge the solar panels from time to time – then we may just continue on this journey, and not fall by the wayside.
Like the many failed missions it took before Perseverance was successful, we writers must continue to dream big, to boldly go where no writer has gone before and create brave new worlds that will enthral our readers, like all those space nerds were last Thursday evening – and the biggest one was me! 😂
And because I mentioned Mars in this post, here’s the procrastinating video trailer I made for my yet to be subbed, unpublished book…because that’s the right order to do it!