So, there I was, writing along on the new novel on Sunday, and posting bits and progress to Twitter, like I do. And a tweet pops up from Kate Elliot (an author I have not read, but discovered that I will be reading for book group in December...) about despair. Her tweet was a riff on Galadriel, I think, but Stephen Gould, one of my teachers from Viable Paradise mentioned that he understood about despair because he was despairing in his living room the night before.
Then, Beth Bernobich, who is a great writer four books or so into her career asked these two very established writers, "Wait. You guys despair?" And Stephen said, "Of course we despair. We're writers." And Kate suggested she might write a post about despair. I would like to read a post about despair. I told them I was despairing even as I was writing.
Yesterday's post, was, I think, a very realistic post. It was also me working through some feelings about this round of queries and rejections. The only way I can avoid sinking into sadness about the great void is to keep working, either on the new story, or at work. That's one of the types of trying to break in despair. Stephen suggested if I was despairing, I must be doing something write.
However, I notice that every writer has their level of despair. It's like being a monk in the old Dungeons and Dragons system--by the time you become a Grand Master of Flowers, your despair must be as mighty as your universe reversing martial arts. Here are some examples of recent level ups that I know about from others.