It’s always nice when someone you admire says something positive about a thing you did.

If you aren’t aware, some time ago my friends and I made a video called Day in the Life of a Turret, which sort of went viral. A few years back, I stumbled across a blog post by one of my author idols, Lev Grossman, who wrote The Magicians books and used to be a writer for TIME Magazine, where he called Day in the Life of a Turret “genius.” Naturally, geeking out happened on my end.

Well I did some more geeking out last night after Lev Grossman’s Ask Me Anything on Reddit. Not only did the dude answer my question about fantasy-horror (seriously, the horror sequences in The Magicians and The Magician King are some of the most terrifying things I’ve ever read), but he also quoted Day in the Life of a Turret in his answer. Like I said, more geeking out occurred.

Besides that awesome response, there’s plenty more that’s interesting to read in Grossman’s AMA. It’s easy to forget that these icons we have are just normal people, or more specifically, lived very normal lives prior to becoming bestsellers (or whatever else they did that garnered notoriety). In particular, it was interesting to read about Grossman’s struggles as an author throughout his twenties and thirties, until he finally found success at the age of 40 with The Magicians.

Sometimes reading stats like that can be both encouraging and disheartening all at once. The thought that it could take me another decade (or more!) of writing, re-writing and banging my head on a keyboard before I find any kind of publishing success is more than a bit daunting. But on the other hand, it does give you hope that things might actually work out if you keep on pushing at your craft.

When I was younger, I had this awful misconception about the correlation between talent and hard work. If someone didn’t like something I had done, it was because they couldn’t see the latent talent hiding within me, bro, and not because, you know, what I had done might have actually sucked. The older I get, the more aware I become of my deficiencies as a writer (and as a human). And really, how lazy I used to be about becoming a better writer.

A friend of mine recently posted something interesting on Facebook about this very idea: “I know a lot of hard workers that never became great artists. I know a lot of great artists that were all hard workers.”

I guess the trick is to keep on pushing. But for now, at least a guy I admire liked one thing that I did. Maybe there’s a little bit of hope yet.

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