As a new writer for twenty years, I have been afraid to put my foot in the pool. I find statistics to be a real road block. I have all these wonderful entertaining short stories and poems and a novel halfway through a second draft and still it beats me down. It makes me doubt my talents. It keeps discouraging me. I try to read up on how to get my work in magazines and make publishers notice. What I keep coming across is page after page of people pointing out how impossible it is. Like it's one big stroke of luck. "Editors have slush piles ten feet high.." is rather defeating. Or one of my favorite I read recently, "Literacy agencies accept about 1 Manuscript for every 1000 they go over. One Literacy agency can go over 4000 manuscripts a week. They Read 4000 manuscripts a week? Honestly, how? Maybe they get 4000 submissions, I will buy that, and then chose the authors they know worth their time and toss the rest unopened. Still that baffles me as I try to imagine 4000 manila envelopes on a desk somewhere. It gets so depressing I throw my hands up and step away from writing for a month or two. My book sits there waiting for me. But like Many, I write because I have too. I am a story teller down to my bones. So I wade back in. Determined, I sit myself down, blow off the dust on the keyboard and continue. When I write I am happy, so once I fall back in I'm good. What I need is some encouragement. I thought about trying some writing contests or getting a few of shorter pieces about. I don't have much to put on a resume when I submit my novel. I have had two short stories accepted a few years back and recently had some luck with two poems. I feel like someone straight out of high school who hasn't had their first serious job yet. I have no doubts that I can write. Oh I am not perfect, I work constantly to improve. I have decided two things lately. First I am going to finish my second draft by the end of the year and get it out there, come hell or high water. Second I am going to try to get small pieces out there, not to make money but as encouragement. I keep hearing I have to have perfection on my first book to get noticed. So I edit and edit again. You have no idea how many times I have re-edited my first five chapters. Maybe 10 times. Because I keep seeing imaginary holes. I will never get anywhere this way. So I am just plugging ahead. Edit the chapter move on, edit the next. There has to be someone here that felt the same way I do when they started out. That the odds presented seemed a wall of impossible stone. It would be nice to know that pure God loving creative talent can win the day and it's not a number picked in some lottery. Not the manuscript the editor tripped over getting his coffee or a good old boy network of writers and their fledglings. I hope not.