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On Being a Sometimes Down But Never Out Unicorn


By Christine Carron

On the writing journey, one of two things is going to happen. 

Option #1: You’re going to be one of those magical unicorn writers who has an idea, gets the novel written and revised by the end of the following week, sends it to your dream agent the next day, gets signed by said agent the same day, and the following day there’s a bidding war with all the big publishing houses, which results in a multi-zillion dollar deal. 

Option #2: You’re going to be one of those magical unicorn writers who gets knocked down by tough twists and crushing turns and then (after an appropriate breather) gets back up and goes back to the work of creating and storytelling. 

The first club is the one people dream about being in. The second one is the club worth being in. 

Now mind you, I could be biased as Option #1 has long passed me by. (Also, it could be the case that I have been knocked down so much on the writerly journey that I’m slightly but permanently concussed.) Even so, if you want to join me in the Sometimes Down But Never Out Unicorn Writers Club, here are a few of the benefits:

  1. You still get to be a unicorn. Do you know how many people want to write a book and never write a book? It’s a lot. So walk around for the next few weeks with a little extra unicorn swagger. You’re on a magical path.
  2. You still get to write and tell stories. Luckily, there’s no time limit when it comes to honing your craft. As long as you keep going, the path keeps going. (As mentioned, it’s magical.) 
  3. You will become a more badass unicorn.  The journey is tough. Your unicorn mettle and aplomb will be tested. Doubt will harass you. Uncertainty will heckle you. Hope on occasion will be MIA. And yet, here you are. Forging ahead. Recommitting to your writerly unicorn self. Even if you’re down right now, you are not out. Your creativity will return; you will get your toosh back into the chair; and the story shall pour forth again. 
  4. You will find your unicorn herd. Stay on the journey and you will cross paths with other awesome unicorns. Fellow writers who will support you when you’re down and cheer you on when you’re in full-tilt unicorn gallop. Cherish those connections. They, too, are magical. 

Now, if you’re brand new at this, you still might be hoping for Unicorn Club Option #1. I wish it for you as well, because, yeah, that would be fun. But for the rest of you awesome Option #2 Unicorns, welcome to the club. Let’s get our magic on!

The Goodjelly Prompt of the Week

  1. For the next week, jot down a note at the end of each day about how you embodied your unicorn self that day. Did you brainstorm story ideas? Get words down? Maybe one of the days will be a breather/regroup day because you’re processing a tough rejection. Breather days count, too. Just claim it as a down-but-not-out day, revel in your temporary downness, and then back to it, Unicorn.
  2. List three ways you have grown as a writer/unicorn since starting the journey. 
  3. List three ways you have grown as a person/unicorn since starting the journey. 
  4. Who is a fellow unicorn in your herd? Why are they in your herd? What is it about them that connects you? (For extra credit, send the person a thank you note, letting them know why they are an awesome unicorn.)