Warning: lamentations ahead.
I’ve been feeling some self-doubt lately about this whole writing-as-a-career thing. In large part, it’s because very often when I read a piece of published fiction–sometimes an award-winning or critically acclaimed genre story–I feel like I just. Don’t. Get it. And I know my tastes aren’t that far out of the mainstream, so I wonder if I’ve simply lost the ability to distinguish between good and bad prose.
Then, last night, I looked up Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video, because Hank Green mentioned it at the Portland Nerds & Music show. And I was reassured that YES, I can, in fact, still tell good writing from bad. (If you know the song, and you’re not a twelve-year-old girl, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know the song, there is absolutely no need for you to seek it out. Trust me. Save yourself!)
Which brings us back to this old saw from the Homicide Lexicon:
It’s good to be good. It’s better to be lucky.
But all the luck in the world will not make a difference if I’m not ready to take advantage of it. I know I’m a pretty good writer. I know I still have blind spots and deficiencies, and I will get better if I keep working at it. I have people who support and encourage and believe in me, and that already makes me luckier than some.
So I’ll keep writing, and I’ll keep improving, and someday (hopefully before I die) it’ll all amount to something.
By the way, The Doubleclicks totally stole the show on Friday night. Go check them out now, and listen to your new favorite song: