BY NANCY KAY CLARK
CommuterLit editor & publisher
I JUST heard an interview with author Stephen Marche about his nonfiction book On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer, in which he posits that to write is to fail. I get what he’s saying. Many of us strive for perfection, which is a recipe for failure. And no matter how successful from the outside writers seem, I bet you from the inside they feel each rejection just as keenly as we all do. We all suffer from imposter syndrome. Nothing we do is ever good enough because we keep moving the goal posts. Got one short story published? Now you need to get two or three or four published, and then get someone to publish your collection. Got one review? Now you need 10 or 20 or 50. Got an agent? Now you need a publisher. Published a book? Now you need people to buy it. Got a best seller? Now you need to produce a second best seller. Got five best sellers? Now you need literary acclaim. Won the Geller Prize? Now you need to make some money.
It’s depressing to realize that failure will be a constant companion on my writing journey, but it’s also a liberating thought. We’re all in the same predicament. And, perhaps, our ultimate success is that we continue to write despite knowing that we will ultimately fail. What does success as a writer mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Gail M. Murray‘s essay To Lauch or Not to Launch is featured in the March 2023 issue of Blank Spaces literary magazine.
Wesley Payton‘s latest book, Namastab: Transition into Decompose, was released last month by Crimson Press, an imprint of TWRP. Here’s the Amazon link:
Toni Dietkus published a long-worked-on novel titled: Don’t Tell the Wind.