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I’m going off the board again. I was going to write a piece on heavy-handed writing, but I’m not feeling it. Besides, I’m a day late for “H”. Fortunately it’s Sunday, so I can slide it in before iMonday tomorrow.
Despite the fact that I’m feeling drained today, I’m also feeling pretty good, so I thought I’d write about the tool that every writer needs in order to even step into the arena of aspiring author: hope.
We’re all in this business on spec, to use a screenwriting term. There are no guarantees, not for an agent, not for a publishing deal, certainly not for wealth. There’s not even a guarantee people will like your book. We operate exclusively on hope, or faith, if you prefer that term. Even people who are 100 percent confident of their eventual success are operating on hope: even “sure things” end up not selling sometimes.
That doesn’t mean our efforts should consist only of closing our eyes and imagining ourselves prancing through daisy-covered fields clutching our new book contract in our arms. Hope opens the door for effort; it doesn’t provide an end-around. Without hope, there’s no reason to try. As long as hope exists, even in the tiniest amount, you should water that hope with effort. Effort turns hope into opportunity, and opportunity and effort, of course, are the parents of success.
Hope gets kind of a bad rap sometimes. It’s seen as too passive. I don’t see it as verb at all, though; it’s a noun, real, tangible. Hope is what gets us moving. It’s what allows us to think that we can be better, do better. Hope is what dares us to dream. I may never actually be a best-selling author, but as long as I have hope, I have everything.