The Art of Submission

The other week I went to a reading by Tom McNeely, and during the question and answer session I asked him if he had ever had lulls in his career—periods of rejection, of not writing—and how he recovered from them. He said he had, of course. There were periods of extended rejection. There were periods of too much acceptance (which did even worse things to his process than the rejection, by the way), and, he said, there were periods of absolutely no writing. None. Not a word. These, he said, were the worst.

Of the many things that it took for him to start writing again—self-examination, time—the thing that saved him, the thing that brought him back, was having people in his life who wanted to read his work.

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