I have a confession. I like Spider Solitaire. I love the hardest version on my Nook. I play endless games of 4 deck Spider Solitaire. Sometimes I can tell pretty quickly whether I will win or not. I end the game early and start again. Other times it looks like I might have a chance, but alas, no. So I deal again. Every once in a while I win.
I win one game out of every gazillion tries. So why play? Well, it's addictive. It empties my brain and for some reason that helps me with my writing. And finally, I LOVE it when I win. It's a wonderful, heady feeling to beat the game. To win and to have the little screen tell me I've won is awesome.
I play to win.
This Spider Solitaire is a lot like my writing world. It's been 7 plus years. I've written 8 books (some should never see the light of day). I've come CLOSE. Oh so close it hurts. But I haven't won yet. I can either give up altogether, or I can deal again.
I choose to deal again.
I had a great opportunity. I almost made it to the other side of the publishing world. Instead, I got a very nice letter about my book and my writing and why it wouldn't fly with this line. Sadly, I agree with all the reasons the book won't fly. Won't lie. I was a bit down afterward.
But I got over it.
Why? Because I am addicted to writing. I am addicted to solving the puzzle. I am addicted to the elusive idea of WINNING. I am so close to winning it hurts to come in second. And I don't like hurting. I like winning. So guess what I'm doing?
I'm taking that letter's advice and suggestions to heart. They are the blueprint for the kind of books I want to write. They gave me encouraging words like "promisingly high standards as a writer" and "lots of things to love about your writing like..." And "I'd be happy to read your next book's first three chapters."
That's like getting a stacked deck, folks. That's a "you're so close that if you're willing to sit down and do all the work to understand and incorporate what we've suggested, then I will give you another chance because I LOVE MUCH ABOUT YOUR WRITING" kind of deck.
I like those odds. I like those words. I like this opportunity to break through.
Some people would give up. Some people would cave in under the weight of the pressure. Some people would go elsewhere. Why don't I go somewhere else? Try some other publisher? Take a chance on me on my own? Why? Because I want my first published book to break out of the gate as a thoroughbred. I want my first published book to rush out of the gate and get to the front of the pack and be amazing and awesome and a "wow" book. I want my first book that gets published to land me readers who will say "where has this author been my whole life because I want to read more of her books."
So that is why I am taking a break, reading a lot of books, making notes, taking time to think think think and analyze the elements of these books. I am figuring out the final braiding of the pieces of the puzzle. I have everything I need in my toolbox to write a good book. Now I have the final puzzle piece. The elusive blueprint that will lead to my books becoming great.
Yah, I'm that cocky. I'm that "on fire." I'm that determined. I have to be this way or I will turn around and crawl back into my hole and hide. I will quit if I don't play to win.
I don't want to quit on myself. I want to take this opportunity and turn it into a winning hand of 4 Deck Spider Solitaire. I want to see that little screen pop up and say "You Win!!"
Do you play to win?