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How to Send Your Work Out Into The World

One of the myths unpublished writers tend to believe is that things get easier after you get an agent or after you get published or after you’ve made some good money from your writing. They tend to think of the “before” as frightening and frustrating and painful and the “after” as some kind of writerly heaven. But I don’t know a single well-published writer who would agree with this myth. The fact of the matter is that creating things and sending them out into the world, where they will be judged and measured and bought and sold, is never easy.

I am telling you this because yesterday I sent 93 pages of my novel-in-progress to my agent. She has not yet seen these pages, she has not yet agreed that this is a book that will be worthy of selling but we had decided together that I would send her the work when I had 100 pages.  My goal was to get her those pages by April 1. I didn’t quite make that deadline, but yesterday, after doing a round of revisions that felt very resonant, I decided that it was time.  Sure, I could have kept working on those pages and polishing them up until the end of time, but I decided I was ready for them to be judged.

It was hard to put them out there. In order to make myself do it, I had to close my eyes, hold my breath, say, “WTF,” and press the “Send” button as fast as I could before I changed my mind.

I immediately felt elated, imagining the phone call I would get when she couldn’t contain her excitement. I imagined the auction we would hold, the juicy deal we would nail down, the announcement we would get to make, the interviews I would do. I pictured, in other words, making the buzzer-beater shot to win the national championships – a moment of glory we got to witness earlier this week when Villanova beat North Carolina.

That moment of elation was followed very quickly by a moment of gut-wrenching terror, because I have had that dream before. I have gotten close to that moment of glory before – the ball in my hands, the dream within reach – and it didn’t happen, and it was horrible.

I understand that there are no guarantees.

Did you see any of the photos of those young men who lost that championship basketball game this week? In case you missed them, I put one at the top of the post – a shot of North Carolina’s Theo Pinson in the locker room after the game. I mean, it makes you want to cry. We can all stand back and say, “But that was just a college basketball game, it didn’t really mean anything.” But those players worked for that moment for most of their lives, just like us. They dreamed of that glory for a very long time, just like us. Not getting it, in basketball or in writing, hurts a lot.

When we send our work out into the world, we risk that pain. It is much easier to keep the pages safe on our desktop. It is much easier to share them with a small group of friends who will tell us what a good job we did.

But I am proud to be a writer who meets my deadlines. I am proud to be a writer who gets back up after a tough fall. I am proud that I keep working to get better, and that I am not afraid to have my work judged, even if it’s judged harshly.

I would rather be all those things than a writer who is too scared to share my work with the world.

I have no idea what my agent will say about the 93 pages.  She could say, “Love them, keep going, let’s DO this!” Or she could say, “I think you might want to shelve this for awhile.” Or she could say, “There are parts of this that are very good” (which means that there are part of it that need a lot of work.)

Since my last book died a quiet death, there is even a very real chance that she could say, “I don’t think I can represent your work anymore.”

That’s the dirty secret that published writers never tell you: that they live in fear of not being able to do it again. They live in fear that they have already hit their peak. They live in fear that whatever success they had before was a fluke and now everyone knows they are a fraud.

I think every one of those desperate thoughts.

And you know how I know I am not a fraud? How I counteract the doubt? Today, I will start work on Page 94 and I will figure out where that next scene fits into the whole, and what needs to happen to make it sing.


I have an exercise that my memoir-writing class is doing this week called The Universal Constants of Creativity. It is a way to evaluate the places in your creative process where you get stuck.  If “letting go” and “sending your work out into the world” is a tough one for you, you might want to DOWNLOAD IT HERE and do the exercise yourself.



Are You Doing the Work?

I have been having a hard time lately getting my own writing done. I think you could say, in fact, that over the last two weeks, I have completely and totally stalled out on the great momentum I had been enjoying with this project. My mojo came, and then it went – and I am sure you know what happened next because I am sure you have been where I am: I started beating myself up for stalling out, feeling bad about it, feeling doubt that I have what it takes to finish a book, even though I have a pretty solid track record of eight books sitting on the shelf. I started telling myself, “That was before; right now, you have nothing.”

In the midst of this negative mind-spin, there was a funny little exchange in the Facebook group of one of my online classes, and it shone a bright light on my problem.

The writers were raving about Scrivener because there was a sale and everyone was convincing everyone else to jump on board. I bought Scrivener about a year ago and haven’t even opened it. I am eager to know why people love it, eager to better serve my writers who use it, and eager to learn new technology tools, but Scrivener has become just another one of the things I haven’t gotten done.

So I wrote, “LALALALALA not listening.” (Super grown up of me, I know.) One of my writers wrote this ironic little note in reply to me:

“Aww, come on Jennie Nash. Just because you're startup is running away from you, you're dealing with a blog, live Q&As, Lecture Videos, Course materials, dealing with Clients (who love you), reading drafts until all hours of the night, hosting more webinars with guests, trying to have a home life--no, wait, strike that, trying to finish you're own book...and you don't want to take on learning a spiffy new tool??”

That made me feel better about Scrivener and then it made me feel better about stalling out on my own book – and ultimately it gave me the kick in the pants I need to get back to work.

Yes, I am busy. Yes, I have a hundred irons in the fire. Yes, I have a thousand good excuses why I am not writing and they are all really excellent reasons. When seen reflected back to me like that on Facebook, my excuses, are, in fact, ironclad.

Except for the fact that the thing I want most is to finish this book I am working on. I love my client work, love building Author Accelerator, love teaching and doing live events and creating awesome partnerships. I love it all. But I also love my own work and I love the fact that I am not just a coach who tells writers how to write, but a writer who is down in the trenches doing it myself right along with you. So my actions are not in alignment with my desires. My priorities are messed up.

I was inspired by the Facebook exchange to ask myself why. And the answer was very simple and very clear: I’m scared to get it wrong.

I got it wrong last time with my novel, Perfect Red.  It was my seventh book and I was convinced that it would launch my career to great new heights. My agent set an auction date, we had six editors from six major houses poised to bid – which is the dream -- and then on the morning of the auction, none of them came to the table with an offer.

It was a very bad day. I decided to self publish and was convinced I would show them all the folly of their ways. I thought that having published six books gave me some sort of free pass to the head of the line. I thought every bookstore where I had held a signing would remember me, and every reader who had written me about one book would want to read another. I thought I had it made in the shade. I did not have it made in the shade because I hadn’t done anything to serve that audience, to engage them, to entice them, to connect with them. So my self-publishing efforts failed too.

I took three years off writing to focus on coaching. I took three years off to lick my wounds. Getting it wrong again now would feel like the death knell to my life as a writer. That may not be rational, but that’s what I feel.

But because of my work helping writers, I know better than most people that there are no guarantees in creative pursuits. There just aren’t. And falling into the trap of believing that there are – that if I do X, I will achieve Y outcome – is dangerous and counterproductive.

None of us can control how the world will respond to our work. All we can control is how we approach it, what energy we give it, and how we prioritize it in our lives so that it gets done – or not.

I don’t want fear to be in charge. So busy schedule or not, I’m going to face my fear, and I’m going to do the work.

What about you?



What Resolve Looks Like in a Writer

                                                                              Emma's writing space at a hotel in Sweden

                                                                              Emma's writing space at a hotel in Sweden

If there is one thing that every successful writer shares, it’s resolve. You could also call it commitment or determination or perseverance, but sometimes you just need to call it resolve, because there is often a kind of doggedness to it – a totally refusal to give up no matter what.

 I have the great good fortune of working every day with writers who have resolve, and they constantly inspire me. Everyone I work with is equally awesome in their own unique way, but today, I wanted to share three recent stories that illustrate what resolve looks like in a writer. These stories feature three women who are each overcoming a roadblock that would beat down most of the rest of us.  

The first story is about writing despite having no home base.

Emma is a woman who is never in the same place more than a few weeks at a time. She travels around the world from place to place on an incredible adventure that has to do with the America’s Cup sailing races, and the Olympic sailing team’s preparation for Rio. She has a deadline with me every two weeks, and she is almost never in the same place twice. She Skype’s in from New Zealand, San Francisco, Portugal, Bermuda, England -- a different country, and oftentimes a different continent, every few weeks.

 She takes her laptop and her books and her “story board” with her, setting up shop in the corners of the Airbnb houses she rents in each place. 

Up top is a picture of her workspace in a hotel in Sweden. Below are pictures of her workspaces in a rented house in San Francisco and another in Rio de Janiero. For a recent move to Bermuda, she had to ship the entire contents of a house by container. Within days of her arrival, she sent this photo of her writing spot – confirmation that nothing is going to stop her forward progress.

Emma is two chapters away from finishing her manuscript. In a year where she has logged more miles than I will probably log in my entire life, she has written a book. It’s very inspiring.

And for a sneak peek into what inspires HER, here are some pictures of the children Emma is writing about at a school in Uganda where she has launched a scholarship program to help orphans complete secondary school.


                              Writing space in Rio di Janiero

                              Writing space in Rio di Janiero

Mark House, a dormitory at the KAASO school, which Emma helped to fund

Mark House, a dormitory at the KAASO school, which Emma helped to fund

                 Henry, when he met Emma at age 12. He's graduating from high school in December 

                 Henry, when he met Emma at age 12. He's graduating from high school in December 

                               Writing space in Bermuda

                               Writing space in Bermuda

                        Writing Space in San Francisco

                        Writing Space in San Francisco

The second story is about writing despite being desperately ill.

Shannon is a mother of two little kids who was diagnosed with a cancer on her lip that required the removal of the entire lip, which required many plastic surgeries, among other procedures. I was so blown away that she kept writing through this ordeal, and asked her some questions about that experience.

Q: You were on track to get to the finish line of your book. You had a complete rough draft and were just about to tackle a revision when something unexpected and horrible disrupted your life. What were your initial thoughts about your book? Did you even THINK about your book when all the trauma hit?

A: I did think about the book and the deadline we had set up for my final manuscript read. I think about that deadline whenever a disruption happens in our life – like my husband has to travel out of town for work or one of the kids get sick. I am a person who works better under the gun but there is a certain amount of stress that comes with that. My big job is being a mom so I fight for my hours to write and disruptions can be tough. When this big and unexpected trauma happened in my life, I was a little more than half way through my final manuscript re-write. I didn’t think about the book immediately but once the dust settled and I realized I had a long recovery in my future, the book was on my mind.

There was a great story I was told in acting school about a famous French actor who wailed and fell to the floor when he received news of his mother’s death. Even while he was doing this there was a part of his brain thinking I must remember this reaction when I play a scene of grief. It’s a little bit sicko but I think actors do that and I find myself doing that as a novice writer too. The book is in the back of my mind at all times- events in life sort of jog my memory about moments in the book and make things more specific. 

Q: What made you decide to keep working on the revision rather than just...stop. There are so many hours in the day. Why spend hours on this when you have other pressing concerns?

 A: I’ve made a discovery that when I write over a period of successive days -- say I string three or four days together -- regardless of whether I think the writing is good or whether you give me good feed back, my mood is lifted. My schedule as a mom basically allows for one hour while the kids are at school and one hour after they are asleep. If I stick to this two hour a day regiment I feel happier. My situation right now is depressing and I do need time to focus on getting better but I also know that staying creative will be a big component in keeping my mood up. Again I learned this as an actress, especially when I was starting out and trying to find work. I made a deal with myself to do two things a day to further my career. For example, back then I might have worked on a scene for acting class and then sent out a few headshots to casting agents. I found that doing these two things made me happier and I felt more in control of a completely uncontrollable situation.

 So I’ve taken on an “I’ll be dammed if I stop now” attitude because I know the writing will make me happier and also because I’ve come so far with the book that I’ll be dammed if anything will stop me now.

Q: You said you reached a kind of flow in your work. Can you describe what that felt like?

A: Not to be a total kiss ass (ha ha) but I think the flow came from you giving me copious notes in my chapter drafts and pinpointing what the book was about, always bringing me back to the real reason I was writing the piece in the first place. Once I understood that clearly, it all fell into place. It was very easy to see the big picture and carrying on the point from chapter to chapter became like a puzzle where all the pieces would fall easily into place. A lot of the chapters required huge rewrites but even through that kind of hard work, it never felt like I was muscling it. Nothing has felt blocked so far. As for the end result, who knows? Only my husband has read the finished chapters so far and he tends to be a little bit biased in my favor. 

Q: How was that different from what you were experiencing in your own life? Was it aligned in any way? A counterpoint? A rescue valve? I guess I'm trying to get at the relationship between... what? Chaos and pain and creativity? Or chaos and pain and the power of narrative? 

A: Actually I’m not sure yet if there is any connection between the chaos of what I am experiencing now and the book. In my head they are two different things. And because my book is a memoir from a specific time in my life they are two different time periods. The feelings of pain and despair and loss will definitely be easier to access when I’m in the rewrite. The writing will be a rescue valve and down the line I will have an interesting story to tell. But right now they are separate. I’m still so “in” this that I’m not sure of it’s point. And I guess that’s a huge lesson about narrative -- even though you are in the midst of drama that is interesting and sad and even funny at times, if you don’t have a specific way to tell it, a point of view on it, it won’t be your story. But you taught me that.

Q: How did your goal for your book shift at all during this time, if it did. Did it change? Morph? Deepen? Get focused? 

A: Nothing changed except that I may have gotten even more resolved to get it done. And because I lost a lot of time with appointments I asked you for a month extension! [Note from Jennie: Shannon asked for a second month extension. But her new deadline happens to be Halloween. And guess what? She’s making it this time. I never had any doubt….]

Q What did the people around you think of your spending time on your book in the midst of everything else? Did you ever talk to any of them about it? 

A: My husband is my biggest cheerleader. We met on a show as actors and when I stopped to become a full time mom he knew the loss I would experience creatively. He also knows I am happier with a creative outlet and have been so happy since I discovered I loved to write. He is all encouragement. Sometimes right now he’ll even push me a little too hard and I’ll have to tell him I need to rest.

Even before this happened I’ve had the odd girlfriend who has asked, “Are you still working on that?” It’s usually when I say I can’t go to lunch or something and I have to write. But other than that I’ve been hiding out a bit at the moment so I haven’t talked to many people about my writing lately. 

Q: After the initial bad event, even WORSE things happened to you with the lip that demanded even more time and effort and energy and yet you STILL didn't stop writing. Why not?

A: Part of it is what I said before- that I know being creative lifts my mood. And perhaps it’s also a little vanity and ego. That a part of me feels like being a mom is not enough. And even though I have no idea if anything will ever happen with my writing, it gives me something else -- an extra sense of self. That may not be healthy but it does propel me to write and the writing makes me happy -- so I don’t analyze it too much. I also know that I don’t want to be defined by the bad things that have happened in my life. I don’t want my sense of self to come from that.

Q: Sometimes writers let even small disruptions halt their forward progress. Why do you think that didn't happen to you? What advise can you give other writers facing disruptive events?

A: I think the reason the disruption didn’t hold me back too much was because of my history as an actress. It was so hard to get work that absolutely nothing could get in your way. We just had to work through everything. When there was an opportunity you had to jump -- whether you were sick or had to cut a vacation short, or severely down in the dumps. Everything would have to be dropped and you’d have to be ready for the audition.

 As for advice, I would say to set aside time for short work sessions every day no matter what is going on. Use a timer and commit to writing a half hour twice a day or an hour twice a day. Just write during that time. Just do it. You don’t even have to read your work back. But also realize that writing every single day will probably be impossible even though you shoot for it every day. Everyone is different- but I find the simple “doing” of the writing will work wonders. You can still deal with the disruptive event – the small time away won’t hurt -- but as time passes you’ll look back and be surprised by how much writing you’ve accomplished and that will make you feel fulfilled and add to your happiness. More happiness will aid in recovery of whatever it is you are going through. I hope I don’t sound preachy but that really works for me

The last story is about money and about relationship and about how sometimes the people we loved don’t understand how much our writing means to us, and how we keep writing regardless.


This is an email written by a client in response to the post I wrote last week about how so many of my clients come from a place of privilege. 

“Your Friday blog was meaningful for me, connecting is one of my goals. I worry about missing the mark. I did giggle at your statement in regard to coaching “privileged” individuals. Just want to note: I’m not one of them. I wish. I teach 7 days a week (and am happy about it, I love my work), to pay bills and support what my husband calls my “hobby.” He has never really gotten the why of my writing. He tolerates it, but never asks about it. He has read only 1 of the 5 stories I’ve had published. I tell him when an acceptance comes in, and his response is to ask what I am getting paid. When I got a Pushcart nomination last year, he wanted to know what it did for me, money-wise. In 8 years, I’ve earned $100 from my writing. And I thought I’d died and landed in heaven when the check arrived. My husband was not impressed.

He knows I pay for classes, and workshops, and every so often, he makes a remarks how that money should go to our retirement fund. If he knew the true cost of working with you he wouldn’t be happy. I haven’t told him the complete truth. I am piecing the money together from my earnings, and I added more students when I made the decision to work with you. He and I have been together a long time, and the relationship is good. My writing is the one thing he just doesn’t get. If I were paid, he’d have a different attitude. So when you work with me, you will be working with writer firmly stuck in the middle-class, who will be grateful beyond imagination for your expertise.”

I thought this email was incredibly brave and beautiful – and I am certain that this writer is going to find deep satisfaction in her work. I know I am going to find deep satisfaction in serving her.

If you’re having a hard time getting your work done because of money or illness or having no space or some other roadblock, channel these stories and see if you can find the resolve to keep writing forward.

 Writing books is hard work, but you can do it. I witness that truth every day



Giving Thanks for Books

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday!

I’m writing today to urge everyone to give books this holiday season (who doesn’t love a good book?) and to tell you about a fun way to do it.

As you know, this Saturday, the 30th, is “small business Saturday,” a day when we are encouraged to shop local and support independent businesses. This year, indie booksellers are staging an amazing nationwide event called Indies First, where they have invited authors to spend the day hand-selling books in the stores. Check out the Facebook page to find your local independent bookstore and see who’s going to be around. More than 1,000 authors are participating and there are some big names out there — James Patterson, Cheryl Strayed. It should be really fun.

I will be in the mix in the middle of the day. I will be at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in Redondo Beach from 1 to 4 on Saturday.  I’ll be signing my own books and recommending many others.  If you happen to be out and about in the South Bay, please stop by and say hi.

Here are some of the books on my to-read list:


I love reading business books, and learn so much from them about how to be a writer in a world of commerce. I think all authors should get in the same habit. I plan on reading The $100 Start Up because I’m so tired of hearing everyone else talk about it and having no clue what they are saying. (Peer pressure! It’s the reason I read a surprising number of books…) I am also very eager to read Start With Why because the author’s Ted talk, which some of you have seen in my classes, has reinforced a lot of my beliefs about telling good stories.

For non-fiction, I am looking at The Telling Room, the epic tale about a legendary cheese. I heard the author on NPR and was totally smitten. I want to read The Tinkers, which won the Pulitzer Prize a few years ago, and Kayak Morning by Roger Rosenblatt, because no one writes better about grief. There is a book called My Life in Middle March about one woman’s relationship with a great novel, and I so deeply love that idea that I think I have to read it, even though I have never been able to get through Middle March itself.

For fiction, I am eager to read the new Norman Rush novel, Subtle Bodies. It’s been ten years since his last one, but it has stuck with me all this time. I also want to read The Goldfinch by Donna Tart and  of course, the latest Alice Munro collection. She is one of my all-time favorite writers, and I was so thrilled when she won the Nobel Prize a few months ago.

For poetry, I am going to get the latest book from Richard Wilbur. I heard him read in person this fall, by complete accident, and the poem he read about mourning his wife brought tears to my eyes. He is 93 years old and the room was completely riveted by his performance. It is not the first time Richard Wilbur’s words have made me cry. I have had a poem of his on my bulletin board by my computer for many years. (I will share it with yo, below, because it’s spectacular, and because it’s called “The Writer" which means that it's speaking to you.) The president of my daughter’s college read this to the parents right after we left our kids freshman year. I almost fell over when he began to read. I mean, the poem is on my bulletin board! I cried so hard that I had to leave the room.

That same child is home this week, about to head into the home stretch of her senior year. I have so much to be thankful for.


The Writer by Richard Wilbur


In her room at the prow of the house

Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,

My daughter is writing a story.


I pause in the stairwell, hearing

From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys

Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.


Young as she is, the stuff

Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:

I wish her a lucky passage.


But now it is she who pauses,

As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.

A stillness greatens, in which


The whole house seems to be thinking,

And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor

Of strokes, and again is silent.


I remember the dazed starling

Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;

How we stole in, lifted a sash


And retreated, not to affright it;

And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,

We watched the sleek, wild, dark


And iridescent creature

Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove

To the hard floor, or the desk-top,


And wait then, humped and bloody,

For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits

Rose when, suddenly sure,


It lifted off from a chair-back,

Beating a smooth course for the right window

And clearing the sill of the world.


It is always a matter, my darling,

Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish

What I wished you before, but harder.




What Rejection Feels Like

My oldest daughter is a senior in college and my youngest is a senior in high school. One is applying for her first-ever real job and the other is applying to college. There's a lot of anxiety in my house because both kids are aiming very high—and why not, right?

Shoot for the moon, you might land on a star. You might even make it to the moon. I am the queen of encouraging people to take big risks, whether those people are my children or my clients. Nothing risked, nothing gained. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. I could go on and on— and I do. But here's the thing: It's pretty easy to sit back and cheer other people to put their neck on the line. It's even easy, once they fail to say, "No big deal! Get back up! Try, try again!" I said this just a few days ago to the college senior whose first-ever interview resulted in a "No, thank you."

But I would be a fraud if all I ever did was cheer, if all I ever did was sit back and encourage risk without ever risking anything myself. My cheerleading would be empty words. And so, about six months ago, I entered my self-published novel, Perfect Red, in a contest for self-published books. I picked theWriters' Digest contest because it's prestigious and because Iiked some of the editors doing the judging and because the winners get some pretty great stuff.

I thought I would win. I mean I actually really did think I would win. And once I won, and my book went on to be a giant seller and I went on to become a spokesperson for not giving up and for not taking no for an answer, I would get to sweetly and humbly stand before the editors and publishing houses who rejected my novel in the first place, and say, "SEE? You were all wrong about me! You were wrong about my book! I am awesome and you are stupid for not having seen it." I'm not proud that this is what I imagined, but this is exactly what I imagined.

The winners were supposed to have been notified by Monday. I was not notified. I imagined that there had been a tiny glitch in the system, that they were late getting the notice out to the winners. But on Tuesday, all entrants got an email saying that they winners had been notified and that they appreciated our having entered, blah blah blah. I actually did not win. Anything. Not even runner up. Not even honorable mention. I was, needless to say, shocked. Perfect Red is my seventh book. The first six were published by major New York houses. I'm not some newbie. I've put in my 10,000 hours and then some. What were these judges thinking?

Well, today, I got the official judges report and I know exactly what they were thinking. On a scale of 5, here is what my book was rated:

  • Structure and Organization: 3
  • Grammar: 4
  • Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
  • Plot (if applicable): 4
  • Character Development (if applicable): 3

And here is a sample of the words that went along with that report card:

"This is an intriguing concept for a novel. The protagonist, central conflict, and setting all work together in compelling ways, and the plot is carefully paced. However, there are some issues with structure and language that impede the reader's full immersion into the world of the story..."

I had to laugh when I read these words. They sound exactly like the words I might say to one of my clients—one of you—on any given day. The truth is that Perfect Red is a good book but it is not a great book. I see that now. I get it. I think I might have known it a year or so ago when the auction date my agent set for the book ended up with a flurry of interest, and then nothing but the sound of silence. I just didn't want to admit it. Admitting it is embarrassing. I mean, I spent four years working on that book. I poured my heart and soul into it. I loved it.

Even before I got the news about the contest, I decided to take a sabbatical from my own writing. Some of the students in my 30-Day Book Start-Up best test, which just finished last week—and which was, I think, a huge success—got to hear me talk about this. I need time to stop, and breathe, and let the soil replenish. And now, I realize, I also need time to lick my wounds and wrap my mind around the reality that my last book was good but not great.

Is there a danger that, because of this knowledge, I won't write again? None whatsoever. I think we know when we are done. Alice Munro, the awesome short story writer who just so thrillingly won the Nobel prize, recently declared that she is done. Phillip Roth, too. But not me. I may never write another book that the world deems great, but that's not why I do it.

What about you? Are you done? Are you ready to call it a day on your writing—perhaps before you even got a chance to see how it might be received by the world? My guess is no.

And so press on, regardless. Doing what we do. Because, for whatever reason, we are called to do it.