When I get depressed and insecure about my writing, I run around, looking for someone to tell me how good it is. There's never anyone there. So I get a chip on my shoulder and I try to write something better. But what gets me through it is the knowledge that there are all these other writers out there who share the experience. All these people who go sit in the darkness when everyone else is asleep, tapping away. One word at a time, lonely, dreaming of being recognized, dreaming of the day they'll finally find the words that make people happy or sad or give them a thrill. If this particular set of words doesn't do it, that means NOTHING. Because I've got more words where that came from, and maybe next time I'll string them together better. maybe I'll tighten up the prose to keep their interest. Maybe I'll capture that emotion I'd felt long ago but had forgotten about, and reveal it in such a way that it touches someone who's feeling the same thing, and they'll be grateful that someone out there knows what they're going through. It's for THAT person I write, not for the praise of other authors. All I can do for those other authors who are wallowing like me is to make it, just to show them that even a moron like me can rise out of the dust. We can't pull each other out of that place, all we can do is rise and once we've made it, explain to the best of our ability how we did it, so everyone who's still struggling has another template they might follow. But, while we're down here wallowing, I say we throw a party. I'll bring the beer. Who's game?