26 July 2016

The Tao of Murphy

In my last blog post, I mentioned someone named Murphy.

Of course you know Murphy.


Of course you do. You know the old saying:
“Anything that can go wrong, will.”

That’s Murphy’s Law. And anything following from this law, I call the voice of Murphy himself. (Or herself, depending on how you wish to see it.)

What has this to do with writing, you might wonder. Here's my link to that. Writing has a self-conscious element to it. Is it good enough? What if no one likes it? What went wrong that every editor or agent is rejecting it?

Many of these questions are Murphy questions.

If you did your best, of course it will be good enough. There are enough varied tastes in the world that someone is bound to like what you wrote. Editors and Agents may just not have a good market for what you wrote. The piece itself may be fine.

Again, it comes down to your journey. Continuing to hold onto a piece because it needs “one more change to be perfect” means you may never decide to let it loose on the world. Make it the best you can, then stop. At some point, it stops improving and starts going backwards.

And remember, the writing journey is not a simple path. Rejections will be common. Murphy, the evil inner editor, doubt, and fear hover just off the in the weeds, waiting for that misstep so they can pounce. They want to push you to quit. KNOW you are ready to continue. Take it one step at a time.

While it isn’t a 12 step program, it is something that you have to just enjoy the journey. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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