Wounds from the Game

During the 1988 Jamboree encampment of 32,000 Boy Scouts, one troop (38 Scouts) led the entire Jamboree in cuts treated at the medical tent.

The huge number of nicks from busy knives sounded negative until someone toured the camp and saw the unique artistic walking sticks each boy in that troop had made. They led the entire encampment in other kinds of games, too.

Wounds simply mean that you’re in the game. It’s true for Boy Scouts–and it’s true for writers as well.

What Wounds?

I know an excellent writer who has revised a book for years–but won’t submit it, even though everyone who has read it feels the book is ready. What benefit does she get from that? She never has to face rejection. She never has to hear an editor say, “This is good–but it needs work.” She never has to read a bad review of her book, or do any speaking engagements to promote her work, or learn how to put together a website.

She will also never feel the exhilaration of holding her published book in her hands. She won’t get letters from children who tell her how much her book means to them and has helped them. She won’t get a starred review or win an award or do a book signing. She won’t move on and write a second (and third and fourth) book.

Paying the Price

If you want to be a writer, you have to get into the game and risk a few wounds. Figure out ways to bandage them and recover from them, but don’t be afraid of getting them. They’re simply a sign that you’re a writer. Wear the battle scars┬áproudly!

What part(s) of the writing life make you want to stay on the sidelines and out of the line of fire?

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