So remember: Fear is a constant, we can fix anything but a blank page, and if you’re gonna write hot garbage, make it the hottest, best garbage you can write, by golly, and KEEP GOING.

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A startling sense of invisible community, as it were. Passing along the help not only pays that debt, but it also feels good. Almost, dare I say it, refreshing and renewing.

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In short, I spent the afternoon paying forward a lot of fabulous kind help other writers have given me and I feel kind of…misty-eyed about it.

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Mentee: “…your metaphors are really violent.”

Me: “You’ve known me how long now?”

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Me: “Instead, take that punch, step aside, and just…let it aikido itself into that nice brick wall. Then you’ve got all this leftover energy to beat the problem into the ground with now that you’ve thrown if off balance!”

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Me: “Exactly! This is the only time I say NO PUNCHING, by the way.”

Mentee: “…I figured.”

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Me: “OKAY LOOK. You can meet a punch with a punch, but you’ll break your hand—“

Mentee: “—and I need that to write with, so—“

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Me: “Let the fear of rejection be what it is. Focus on gaming yourself and your writing environment so you can get through it with the least amount of energy.”

Mentee: “…huh.”

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Me: “Don’t try to will the fear of rejection away. That’s impossible.”

Mentee: “…are you going to Matrix spoon me?”

Me: “That sounds unsanitary and I’m not Keanu.”

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Me: “The good news is, the failure, rejection, and self-doubt are constant. They never go away. It’s inevitable.”

Mentee: “That’s the good thing?”

Me: “When you know what to expect, you’re already ahead.”

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Honestly I’m not sure I’m helping, but Fresh Young Mentee says I am and theirs is the opinion that matters.

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Me: “And if we write hot garbage?”

Fresh Young Writing Mentee: “Then we’re going to make it the BEST HOT GARBAGE EVER.”

Me: “Hot garbage we’re EXCITED about!”

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Me: “What can we fix?”

Fresh Young Writing Mentee: “A story, a book, a poem, any work.”

Me: “What CAN’T we fix?”

Mentee: “A blank page.”

Chaser: “…an editor who read the book in 2011 turned it down on the grounds that the villain, a megalomaniacal and corrupt U.S. president, was too awful to be believed.”

I hope that editor sent Abrams an apology.

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“Abrams wrote most of her latest book while serving as minority leader in the Georgia State House of Representatives.”

Been up for hours, just realized my shirt’s on backwards.

That’s how Wednesday is gonna play this, then. All right.

Well, I’ve watered everything. Which will probably provoke rain.

I can hope.

Although I do always associate “Karmacoma” with Wong Kar-wai’s “Fallen Angels”, and will for the rest of my life.

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This is a morning for Massive Attack.

No, I will not be taking questions at this time.

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