Perhaps…you’re a writer?

Perhaps…you’re a writer?

With all due respects to Mr Kipling’s exceedingly good prose.

If you can keep your word count when all about you   
Are losing theirs and blaming it on ‘responsibilities’,   
If you can trust your plot when your inner critic doubts you,
But make allowance for some valid observations too;   
If you can wait for months and not be tired by submissions,
Or being ignored, don’t deal in ignorance,
Or being bad mouthed, don’t give way to badmouthing,
And yet don’t look too pleased with yourself, or use the terms LOL and LMAO;

If you can dream—and not make dreams an excuse for not adding pages;   
If you can think—and not use cliches for the umpteenth time;   
If you can meet with a request for a Full and an outright Rejection
And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to read the words you’ve written
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools in online reviews,
Or watch the stories you gave your heart to, trampled on,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out pens:

If you can make one heap of all your scribblings
And risk another full edit,
And fail, and start again from that chapter everyone liked
And never breathe a word about your pain, except on your blog, and Twitter and Facebook;
If you can force your brain and soul and fingers
To add to a first draft long after you’ve fallen out of love with the concept,   
And so hold on when there is no evidence it will work
Except the vague notion that there’s a good book in there somewhere;

If you can talk with beginners and keep your humility and sense of humour,   
Or, meeting agents and publishers, not come across as desperate or arrogant (or weird),
If neither deadlines nor interruptions can hurt you,
If loved ones and friends count with you, but none too much, at times, when compared with the lives of your fictional friends;
If you can fill the uninspiring minute
With sixty seconds’ writing without fear,   
Yours is the text and everything that’s in it,   
And—which is more—you’ll be a Writer, my dear!

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