A writing pep talk

… and Send.

Congratulations on sending your manuscript or your query to that agent or that editor. That was brave. Feel good about yourself and don’t let your mind go … you know, to the question. The question that will send you spiraling down that grimy, gunky drain of doubt: What are the odds? What are the odds I’ll get an agent, a contract, … even a personalized rejection?

I was perusing social media one day for inspiration and motivation and encouragement. So, imagine my alarm when someone in a writers’ Facebook group answered that question: “The odds are—”

Well, I’m not going to tell you what she wrote, but it was pretty awful.

The journalist in me wanted to demand verification and proof of such a claim. What are your sources? Who conducted the study? How many writers were surveyed? But I didn’t, because what if she did the math? What if she had the proof?

Nope. The me that lives in Unicorn and Mermaid Land scrolled past it. A couple hours later, I hit send on my latest submission to an agent.

Am I a math-denier? A hopeless, cockeyed optimist? Maybe, because what chance do I have at success if I let statistics and odds rule my decisions in the writing world?

I’m guessing the answer is … I’m not going to say, but it’s pretty awful.

The truth is, I’m not a math-denier. Maybe I’m a little cockeyed. I want to believe in serendipity, karma and mermaids. But actually, I put my faith in positive math:

Preparation + Opportunity = Success.

I see it over and over and over again. It happens every day. Work Hard. Believe. Persist. Have Patience.

And if one path gets you nowhere, find another.