Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March

Caesar: [To the Soothsayer] The ides of March are come.

Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone.
        --Shakespeare (Julius Caesar III.i)

Some may find the Ides of March depressing.  A death-day of sorts.  I, however, find this day empowering, as a day when I can bite my thumb at all the naysayers to my writing life.

I try not to complain about writing or publishing, because generally, there isn't much to complain about.  In Portuguese, there's a saying that roughly translates to: "If you run because you enjoy it, don't complain about being sore."  Writing is sort of the same thing.  If you feel the need to complain about it, then really you should ask yourself: why are you writing in the first place?  If it's such a pain in your backside, why not take up something you like better?  Like basket-weaving or ceramics.

Even the most upbeat and optimistic of writers, though, find themselves up against a wet blanket or worrywart once in a while.  These are the people who pester you with irrelevant questions like: "When do you think you'll actually 'make it' as a writer" or "So, do you think your book could be the next Harry Potter" or, my favorite, "Why don't you stop this silliness and get yourself a real job."

Well, once a year, we writers get a special day when we can turn to these people and say:
 E tu Brute?
Today is that day.  Enjoy it while you can because it only comes around once a year.

And to those writers out there who get soaked by wet blankets and just shake the water off, like a dog does after a bath: keep doing exactly what you're doing.  Write on!

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