The Art of Keeping On

Having a dream is hard.

My dream to become a published author has proved to be the more difficult than I could have ever imagined. My journey began five years ago when I started this blog. I was na├»ve when I began writing my first novel, but I learned quickly that finding an agent and getting published may not be in the cards for my first book. I submitted it to maybe fifteen agents and chose to let it go. So I wrote another. I didn't query it because I wasn't happy with it. I then decided I'd go back to school and major in English/Literature and make every effort to learn how to write well and verse myself in the classics. I graduated and thought about graduate school, to make myself more employable, but I felt like I wasn't giving writing a good go if I didn't at least try again before becoming lost in a new career/program.

So I've devoted the past year and a half to writing. I haven't tried to find a job or committed to another study program. Instead, I wrote my third novel and thought it would be the one. It still may be (fingers crossed). It's out there in the query world now. I've since wrote another novel and am currently on my fifth.

If someone would have told me five years ago I would go on to write five unpublished novels and still be seeking representation, I would have probably chose to devote myself to a more realistic goal.

I'm glad no one told me.

Even with all the uncertainty, I wouldn't change a thing. No matter what other career path I chose, I'd always be a writer.

There are a couple of things I've learned along the way that help me keep the negativity in check.

  1. There is always and will always be someone more talented and better than me. And that's okay.
  2. Just because I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't mean it's not there. Who knows when I'll turn a corner and find the reality of my dream staring back at me! (Just thinking about it makes me smile.)
  3. It only takes one yes to change my entire life.
  4. Writing brings me joy. Feeling down? Write!
  5. I am my worst critic. It's never as bad as it seems to me.
  6. Though I am a writer, writing is not the center of my life.
  7. A beach trip cures most things.
  8. A good book cures everything.
  9. Hard work will always lead to success.
  10. Never underestimate the possibility of a new work-in-progress.
I won't give up. Mainly because I can't. I refuse to let go of the hope that someday I may hold an actual copy of one of my books. I can hardly imagine it.

For now, my hope tree is in full blossom.


Elizabeth Seckman said...

So many truths in this post! Where to even begin?! I always liken writing to an addiction. I love it. I would do it for free...even the bad days when I feel insecure and know that there are so many more talented writers than me, I am still dreaming up stories...sort of like a computer with several tabs open...insecure, but still dreaming.

Oh, and the beach and a good book are the cures for almost anything.

And one thing I have decided. Don't ever give up. If you love it, keep at it, and you have to take creative routes and back roads, like small press or self-pub...take whatever route you can get!

Vanessa Eccles said...

I'm with you. Writing is totally an addiction. If something doesn't happen within the next few years, I'm sure I'll be taking some back roads. Until then, I'm sure I'll be reading lots of books and getting a good tan. :)