The Article of Doom


She’d heard all these things before.
She knew the chances of landing a traditional publishing deal were astronomical. All the statistics were the same. All the naysaying was the same. And that nagging voice telling her the minimum wage day job was all she would ever know?
Yes, that too was the same.
So why was this article different?
Why did this one make the flickering candle of hope inside her gutter out?
Certainly she was older now. She had experienced a plethora of rejections, and deep down she knew she was no Hemmingway reincarnated, but she had always accepted it as paying her dues. That some time very soon would be her time to shine.
After all, there were books out there that made her cringe and she knew she was better.
She put down her iPhone, desperate to forget the past ten minutes of reading. The irrational side of her considered unfriending the fellow author who had shared so horrible an article, but that would not give her back those last ten
minutes. It would not light the candle of hope that had carried her through years of writing and re-writing manuscripts.
And really, she knew it was not her friend’s fault. They were probably feeling the exact same about this dismal accounting of the publishing business.
Her notes and carefully constructed outline sat on the desk, closed and waiting for her return, but she turned away from them. She ignored the laptop sitting in sleep mode even though the manuscript was in there, its characters begging for more life, more time, for the plot to reveal the entire point of their existence.
She could not go back to them yet.
Was there a point in going back to them at all?
Her dog enjoyed a longer walk than usual, some extra belly rubs. Her cats took turns sitting on top of the closed laptop because that was how they preferred the desk to be. It meant she would stop and give ear rubs as she passed the desk like a good peasant.
She made an unsavory snack of celery and carrots, because no fiction could melt away the calories she’d eaten at lunch.
And then her son came home from school.
“Why does walking down the road give me so many ideas to write?” he exclaimed, all excitement and joy.
She smiled, heart aching because of statistics she could not dream of sharing with him. His candle still shone so bright!
“Because you’re a creator,” she told him and kissed his forehead.
They sat down together and with a sigh, she opened her laptop as together they began to write.

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