The only place where dreams are impossible is in your own mind. – Emalie
Yesterday I quit. I gave up. I told myself I can’t do this. I’m not a writer. I’m not even good at this.
I looked around me – at the writers I know – and told myself I am not like them. I don’t write, or even think about writing, the way they do.
You won’t find notebooks full of my writing; I keep most of my thoughts and ideas hidden away in my head and heart. That’s not a writer.
You won’t find my stories on your local bookstore shelves; they aren’t even set free for anyone to read. That’s not a writer.
You won’t find a blog with my ideas shared and out there for review; they are secreted away where no one can judge them. That’s not a writer.
You won’t find my drafts being discussed in a critique group; I don’t belong to a group. That’s not a writer.
So, yesterday I quit.
Then a friend told me it’s not that I’m not a writer, it’s that I don’t have opportunity to write. Well, yes and no. A writer would find opportunities regardless of how complicated life gets, or how tired her body is, or how overloaded her brain feels. A writer would not purposely keep her thoughts to herself, make excuses to not let it happen, fail to release some of that overload through setting her words free. No, that’s not a writer.
So, yesterday I gave up.
I told myself I am kidding myself. I am letting myself believe the impossible when the impossible is … IMPOSSIBLE!
And then …. I wondered … what then will I do?! When I don’t have that dream, what do I have? And what of my binder full of ideas? My few picture book manuscripts? my (still) almost completed first draft of my first young adult novel?
Then I thought … HMMMMM
I DO have pages and pages of ideas (for PBs), some just scraps of possibilities, some glimmers of hope, some silly shadows of something that could be … something – or not.
I DO have dreams of sharing my words and ideas – although that’s a scary thing to me – and finding someone eager to publish them because they believe in me.
I DO have the experience of being part of an online critique group for awhile where I shared a couple of my stories for suggestions, also scary for me.
In March I learned that I’m a shy writer. (Check out my review of The Shy Writer by C. Hope Clark.) And I sabotage myself by not allowing my words to find a life and be shared. I’m afraid of not being good enough. I’m afraid of maybe being good enough … and what then?
Maybe I am a writer. Yes, I do write. I’ve had to write in some way for most of my life, probably getting a real start as a troubled teenager full of angst, when expression came through the poetry that flowed from my heart. Since then I’ve captured many poems on paper over the years, most coming out of my faith.
Yes, I am a writer. I think it’s more that I was giving up on my dream. Perhaps it’s that I see it as a fruitless endeavour when what I have wanted for a very long time is to be a published author of children’s books – yet I haven’t taken myself there.
It helps to be rested. I don’t get quality sleep at my dad’s, and then when I’m home every other week I find it hard to settle into sleep. Yes, it helps to be rested. Discouragement feeds itself off one’s weariness. Quitting comes easier.
One dream I’ll share with you is this: My mother (who is no longer with us) wrote a cute maritime story many years ago, one which would be a delightful picture book, and I know my dad would love to see it in print while he is still able to know. I almost paid (big bucks) to have it done, but … how I would love for a traditional publisher to see it and, of course, their wanting to publish it would be the most exciting thing ever. It would be a sweet memorial to my dear mum.
I am a writer. With a dream. A weary writer (weary everything I am) with a hope to improve. The daughter of a writer with a brilliant imagination who didn’t pursue her talent of writing in the way she would have liked. I want to go beyond that.
Yesterday I quit. I gave up.
Today I am trudging on.
Someday I may give up — But today is not that day. – anonymous
Any words of advice or anything to share regarding publishing or anything else?
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂