Put a group of writers together for an extended period of time and invariably one will break out of the pack. Some of the others will lament their sour grapes that “there’s virtually no difference between that writer and me. I’m just as talented as he/she.” And they are right. The distinction is infinitesimal. Those who make it have decided to make one small adjustment: They would stop waiting for career validation or help from the Big Guns of the world and immediately be the writer they wanted to be with the career they wanted to have. That is the one change. If I had to start from scratch again I would stop waiting and begin treating my work with the respect it deserves.