writing

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

– Langston Hughes

Got an email from my agent. Only Yours has officially been rejected by every publisher. Every single one.
A year of submissions. A year of roller coaster emotions, wild hope, then hopelessness. Who wants to read about an REAL Christian girl with REAL struggles who may or may not make the right choices in the end? Certainly not the Christians. And certainly not the non-Christians. No audience. No sale. Another book, pushed, no SHOVED, maybe even kicked, under the proverbial bed.

On the one hand, I want to get back on that horse and show them. On the other hand, the odds against me seem almost insurmountable.

Right now I feel so many emotions. Sad, relieved, determined, tired. Nothing I can actually describe.

I’m sure the tears will come at 2am, when I’m wide awake, thinking of how much of a failure I am.

I know what you’re going to say. You’re not a failure. You’re going to make it. You have to keep trying. Keep believing. Keep focusing. JUST DO IT.

My dream is officially deferred.

Now what will become of it? Of me?

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It’s The Small Things

I’m learning to be proud of the small accomplishments. Okay, maybe I can’t do thousands of words in one day, but should I really be upset with myself if I just do 100 words? Or how about if I do no words at all, but instead, I sit around, watching movies, or reading book after book, trying to absorb what these authors and writers do, learning the craft, internalizing it, making it part of my blood?

At least once a week I tell myself I’m done. I’m giving up. The odds are too high, and I’m just not special enough.

But why do I keep wriitng down ideas? Why do I keep trying?

What does this mean?

False starts. “Crapters.” Thousands of words deleted–or actually, moved to the “Someday Maybe” folder. It’s so easy to beat myself up when I keep focusing on those things, instead of when the magic finally hits and a book is born. It’s easy, when in the throes of writing, to forget about all the false starts and throwaways.

But I’m learning now, to focus on the small things. I’m not going to be one of those people who can churn out masterpieces in two weeks. Therefore, I may never make a living selling books. But I have to stop comparing myself, forcing myself, hurting myself.

And I have to focus on those small victories. Else, I really WILL give up.

P.S. Everyone’s comments have been amazing! I didn’t realize people were still reading this journal until recently. Thank YOU for not giving up on me.

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The Truth About My Writing

The hardest block I’m trying to work through is the “you need to be working on more important things than this silly dream of yours” block. This block is more dangerous than writer’s block, in my opinion, because this block convinces me that my writing is a waste of time, that I’ll never make it, that this is a stupid daydream and that I need to give up on it and get a job at Applebee’s or something to make ends meet, instead of wasting time trying to write something that an editor will buy. Then something that people will buy.

At least with writer’s block, one has the desire and the will to write. The YNTBWONMITTTSDOY block is one that induces guilt, and shame, and makes me feel as though I don’t really have a right to do this, because there’s nothing really to strive for other than a bunch of useless manuscripts to shove under the proverbial bed, a lot of wasted time, and nothing really to show for it.

I am scared that all of my friends will realize their writing dreams, and I’ll be left in the dust. And I especially fear that this is something else I can add to the “just not good enough” pile. Once upon a time, I’d considered myself anything but ordinary. But now, I think I’m nothing but ordinary.

And as much as that thought disappoints me, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s how I’ve always thought of myself.

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