Glutton for Punishment? by Candi Wall

I was up late last night. Thinking. Biting my nails. Refreshing the six different tabs I had up on my computer. My ARC of Primitive Nights staring back at me all but screaming for my attention.

But I couldn’t focus. Why?

Because it’s the final day of voting in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. Yep, I entered. What’s wrong with me?

Why would I put myself through the stress? I went to bed with my mind buzzing from all I had accomplished through the day, what I hadn’t accomplished, a new book idea, the laundry I needed to fold… Well, you get the picture. But when I woke up this morning, all I could think was, ‘Why do we do this to ourselves?’

Are we gluttons for punishment?

We pour our hearts and souls into every word we write. We send our work out knowing we’ll receive rejection. And it doesn’t matter if it’s self-pubbing, agent hunting, or contests. All venues have the potential for failure or rejection. We spend hours building our online presence, telling the world who we are, and all the while, we’re surrounded by the possibility of failure. And we do fail.

You’d think that would be enough to make us throw in the towel.

But not us. NO! Not writers. We’re crazy that way.

It took me two seconds of thought (and a healthy dose of caffeine) to decide why I do what I do.

Here’s my top ten:

  1. I HAVE to write. Seriously. I think my brain would swell and ooze out of my ears if I didn’t dump my ideas onto paper.
  2. There’s little that compares to typing THE END
  3. The people I meet. I met some of my dearest friends in the writing world.
  4. The support that’s out there! Our government could take a page from the writing world…
  5. Failure is just a small backward step on the road to success, and each step back taught me how to leap forward.
  6. Because if I wasn’t a writer, I couldn’t have Twitter conversations about twitching penises. (True story)
  7. I live vicariously through the success of my fellow writers. It keeps me dreaming…
  8. No matter how hard I fall, other writers are there to pick me up again.
  9. Because someday, I want a fan to say, “Your book touched me.”
  10. I’ll be gone someday. My art will forever be a part of history…

And of course, that one success can wipe away all the pain that came first…..

So tell me. Why do you put yourself through it? Why do you write?


7 Responses to Glutton for Punishment? by Candi Wall

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Well…it all started when a college professor suggested I write a novel. I did. New York said it sucked. I took that as a direct challenge. Somewhere along the way, I found RWA, found great lifelong writing friends, and I FELL IN LOVE – WITH MY CHARACTERS. I have fallen down the rabbit hole.



  2. bobavey says:

    I feel your pain.


  3. […] Glutton for Punishment? by Candi Wall ( […]


  4. You write because you have to. That’s true.
    Since I’m also a reader, I want you to know that I’m glad you put yourself out there because I’ve had the pleasure of reading your work even before I “met” you in a contest. You truly have talent. Your story of the young girl stuck in a frozen new world has stayed with me since I read it a few years back. I loved her spirit and the bleak picture you painted had me rooting for her from pg. 1 on.


  5. The rabbit hole!

    Jenn, that explains SO much in my life over these last three crazy years. >bwg<

    BTW – Have you thanked that professor? 🙂


  6. Bob – :)))

    It’s a lost cause to even try and stop, so why fight it?


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