IT’S NOT EASY BEING MEH (or sometimes this gig sucks but it’s alright)


You know what?

I’ve got nothing to complain about. I don’t. I have a good life and a good wife and a good career. Things are shaking and moving. My schedule at Dragoncon is jam packed with some stellar panels. I have good writerly friends at all levels of the biz who are succeeding and doing well, which makes me happy. I have a support network. I have no shortage of inspiration to write. I have stories coming out and novels sold til the end of 2014.

My second book BLOOD AND SILVER won a Bookie Award at Authors After Dark this week for Best Shifter Novel (non wolf).

Things are good.

But today, well today not one damn bit of it matters.

The thing you know if you are a writer is that this business, for all its ego stroking numminess is also a black-hearted soul grinder. It’s a tough gig not made for the tender-hearted. You push yourself and push yourself and you struggle to bring the story you wanted to write to life and it fights you every step. 70,000 words takes you damn near 6 months to write when last novel you busted 83,000 in 6 weeks. You finally beat it into submission and send it out and sure enough, BAM! nobody cares how long or hard you worked, they do not want it.

You know that social media is a time killer and yet you remain addicted to it. You check your faceybook somewhere between 8 and 80 times a day. And Twitter, puh-leeze, you’re jacked into that like it’s your job. Pinterest sucks the marrow from your bones and Reddit, well, Reddit is of the devil. But you do it because watching another Honest Trailer or Super Powered Beatdown or Epic Meal Time video is so much easier than sitting down and banging words into submission just so you can lay yourself on the altar of the rejection gods.

No wonder most of your literary heroes were drunks.


The thing you need to remember, that you absolutely HAVE to remember is that stories matter. YOUR story matters. Success comes every minute of every day to someone and if you keep trying, keep working, keep striving it will happen to you.  There is absolutely no limit on this writer gig. Ten Million books can come out and yours can still succeed. It’s not quantifiable. Its not divisible. There is no limit to the writer pie because the need for storytelling is imbedded in our DNA. Humans crave the symbolism, the truth, the escapism, and the beauty of the story like they crave air itself.

You are integral to the human experience and you add to the very tapestry of life.

Make it so.



15 comments to IT’S NOT EASY BEING MEH (or sometimes this gig sucks but it’s alright)

  • TwilightHero

    Wow. I needed this; I really did. While I stay well away from social media (mostly), my day job doesn’t leave me a lot of time to write. And it’s hard to use the time I do have to write when it’s so much easier to read a book or play a game or watch an episode of some series or other. Thanks for reminding me that what I’m trying to transfer from my head to the written word, all the tortured characters and plot twists and super-powered fight scenes – 🙂 – matter. Thanks.

    And your last three lines were truly epic 😀

  • I am truly glad my words could help. 🙂

  • Congratulations on the win, sweetie! We’re all terribly proud of you!

  • Ken

    Congrats on the win, James. I really dug Blood and Silver and it totally earned the “W”.

    Thanks for this. I’m going to print out those last couple of paragraphs and tack them to the wall.

    “Your story matters” I’m going to put that in a tatoo somewhere–probably across both palms so that I can see it when the struggle forces me to put my head in my hands again…

  • “No one wants it?” Who is no one? Someone out there wants it. Maybe after a massive rewrite. But it is wanted. Remember — a book doesn’t have to be sold today. It can take YEARS to find the pub who wants it. But someone will want it. Been there done that. Just sayin’.

  • Congrats on the success you’ve had and thanks for the inspirational words.

  • sagablessed

    I’m with Twilight. I was ready to give up, and then ‘this’. I shall keep writing.
    Thank you so much. Just what I needed to hea…ur,read.

  • Thank you all for the congrats. It is appreciated.

    Thank you Faith for the kind words. You are an inspiration and I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks 🙂

    For the rest of you, I am so glad my words helped. Sometimes, with the nature of social media and writing careers and self promotion we can get a skewed version of this industry. That everything is wine and roses….for other people. But it’s a hard gig and sometimes we need a reminder that the struggle is worth it and this is an artistic endeavor and, dammit, art MEANS something more than just the product.

    I wrote this to myself and I am truly touched that it helped someone else even a little.

  • MaCrae

    …And that’s why I don’t do “social media”.

  • quillet

    Congratulations on the win! Also: those last few paragraphs, gonna print ’em out and tack ’em up.

    “Make it so.”

    Thanks, Captain. I needed that.

  • Yes!! and thank you for the pat on the shoulder/kick in the pants. It’s August, the month of MEH with me in which I inevitably lament not having published/researched/written enough over the summer months, and look with dread at the coming week of all day faculty meetings that heralds the start of the semester. The lamentation and dread should kick me into high gear, but usually it results in a lot of reality tv and house cleaning.

    Congratulation on the Bookie Award!

  • Razziecat

    James, if you put as much passion and POW! into your books as you did into this post, then rest assured, someone’s going to buy that book! And the next one, and the next one… 😀 Thank you for this post! I’m bookmarking it so I can come back for inspiration!

  • What Sarah said. I just need to change “reality tv and house cleaning” to “reruns of old shows and downloading music”

  • Vyton

    Congratulations on the Bookie. Great!

    Thanks for this, and what Razziecat said. No kidding.

  • Thank you for the encouragement, James! It’s true, sometimes this stuff *does* take a toll. And congrats on the award!