Dean Wesley Smith doesn’t need any verifying from me regarding the realities of publishing, but here it is anyway —
I’ve made most if not all of the mistakes Dean describes in his post at http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=4131, and he’s absolutely right; the only “mistake” that halted my writing career was halting my writing. Period. The literary paradigm is that of the writer Reardon in George Gissing’s novel NEW GRUB STREET, who hits a seriously bad patch and decides to “become reasonable” by giving up his writing — and a couple chapters later he’s frickin’ dead.
(NEW GRUB STREET has the reputation in some circles as the best novel ever written about writers. Many years ago I recommended it to Barry Malzberg on that basis; he read it and said, “It’s all there.”)
In this regard, we should dog-Latinize Cicero’s motto Dum spiro, spero — “While I breathe, I hope” — to Dum scribo, spero — “While I write, I hope.”