It was the great Wayne Gretzky who said “You’re guaranteed to miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Sage words from a man I barely know (it was a friend who introduced me to the quote). The words have rung true with me through the years, though, and I’ve always hoped to hold it as my guiding principle.

I thought I was bold when I started doing Elf Blood. After all, it takes a certain amount of faith in one’s own abilities to put a comic up online for all to see, that it will be readable, of sufficient graphical quality, and overall entertaining enough to capture an audience.

Since I’ve taken more serious steps towards becoming a professional writer, at almost every turn I’ve been given more and more reasons to doubt the point of even trying. The first, major blow is realising that you have a LOT of learning, practice and skill acquisition to do. Then, it’s discovering that acceptance rates for scripts, novels, articles etc. are incredibly low. Sure, you can prop up your own ego by assuming that your own work will be sufficiently better than that of the competition, but eventually you have to face the fact that even if your work were good enough, it may not be the right time in the market for it. Add to that the horror stories of people trying again and again and again and never getting anywhere.

All of that adds up to a monolithic titan of doubt. If so many OTHERS have tried and failed where you are about to tread, who is to say that you won’t crash and burn either? Who are you, with your arrogant confidence and your little pieces of paper, to say “My work is good, you will like it”? Who is to say that your quality is even good enough to pass the initial hurdles?

It weighs down heavily, and I’m certain that this fear of rejection has been dragging me down and stopping me from sending out material, or otherwise getting myself out there and noticed. I overthink things, I second-guess myself, I automatically assume the worst. Yes, many have failed multiple times and never gotten anywhere. But you know what? Many have failed even MORE times, and have hit it big, because they had two things: Determination to succeed, and a willingness to learn from their mistakes.

You can’t make mistakes if you don’t try. Sounds like a good thing? Wrong. So wrong. Mistakes are the painful lessons that teach you best, and if you can weather them and perservere, maybe you do have what it takes. It’ll still be a massive amount of work to get there, right enough, but dammit you’ve got to be proud of what you’re doing and believe in yourself.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to reinvigorate myself, and reapply my efforts to my future goals. Giving up is not an option, because it guarantees failure. I will fight to the very end to claw my way to where I want to be!

Right, enough passionate rage for one blog post 😛 Enjoy today’s page, and I’ll see you on Friday! Cheerio!