I have something to confess: today was the first day that I have written fiction in four months. The last time I wrote fiction was for Nanowrimo. I used to write fiction almost every day for nearly four years.

During those years I mostly worked alone, though I was briefly in a few writing groups and took a class for several months. Most of the time, however, I didn't know people who were really "going for it" like I was. Still, I was consistently disciplined. I "won" Nanowrimo in 2002 and 2004, and I did a draft of another novel. I even finished a novel: I did a few drafts, had people critique it, then I polished it, and it's already been rejected about 15 times.

Writing fiction used to be a big part of my life, but after Nanowrimo, I wondered what it was all for. Why was I trying at something so hard that probably wouldn't lead anywhere? I hadn't succeeded, hadn't made any important contacts, hadn't gotten any "breaks," so maybe I wasn't cut out for it. But then during those four fictionless months, I felt very agitated. I was assuming that it was Chicago's cold weather mixed with short days, or maybe it was the freelance projects I was working on that were piling up.

Ironically, all that "wasted" experience of writing fiction got me a gig helping someone with a non-fiction book that's going to be published in the fall. The people I was working with didn't care that I hadn't gotten the fiction published; they figured since I'd finished a book, I understood the process of putting a polished book together. And someone else has approached me about helping them out with their book, too.

So yesterday, as I was feeling sorry for myself once again, I thought that it could be cured with another stab at fiction. Maybe one millenium I will succeed. But will it matter if I don't?

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