Don’t read things into the above account that aren’t there. I’m not telling you that you have to believe in yourself in order to succeed: I didn’t believe in myself (as a writer or as much of anything else).

I’m also not telling you that if you keep at it long enough you’ll find an editor who believes in you. Jim bought my stories because they saved him editing time, not because he believed in them or me at the time he took them.

I am specifically saying that if I’d put my writing career first, I wouldn’t have a writing career. I know many writers, some of them very good writers, about whom that isn’t true.

But I’m saying one thing more: I believed in the truth of the vision I portrayed in the Hammer series. I followed that vision of truth to the exclusion of all other considerations in writing the stories.

And I don’t believe any writer can have real success unless he follows his own truth.

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