It is daunting, to say the least, when you look around at how much is going on. If it’s online or in the world of books so many people are being noticed and/or are trying to become noticed. Doesn’t it make you wonder how you could ever be published if there are so many other writers and wanna-be-writers out there? And are you really better? Are you really capable of becoming one of the few who stand out?
I think there are a few points that are important to remember. Lets think of this as a race. You’re competing against 99 other people. The following numbers are just my guess.
1. Andy Wibbels talks about Seth Godin’s ideas that each business has the icky side to it. A large percentage of work is just annoying, not necessarily creative and just stuff you’ve gotta get through. This especially holds true in the beginning when you’re too poor to hire someone else to do the dirty work. A lot of people are going to drop off the race immediately just because of this. I can tell you that I consider quitting everyday for this reason. 50 people gone right there.
2. If you strongly believe in what you’re doing, you are able to constantly renew your motivation (usually, at least) to keep up the effort. 20 other racers just can’t keep up because they don’t really care about their project enough.
3. If you love what you’re doing, you will also be more motivated to keep chugging along since you can constantly remind yourself how much you prefer this over the kitchen/office/babysitting/driving/hunting/farming job you have had to do in the past or still need to do in order to pay the rent. Another 20 competitors realize they just don’t like it enough to keep running. Instead they opt to show up at home early for dinner.
So, people quit because of the dirty work. They quit because they just don’t believe in it enough or love it enough. You’re then left with those few who are able to keep themselves motivated because they really want it. Badly. Those are the last 10. They work long hours. They try to be self disciplined. They are almost always thinking about their projects. When they’re rejected, they continue on.
How many times have you read something published and thought, “I write better than that”? Remember, you just might and if you push along, the published piece, one day, might be yours.