I originally planned to write about how important a support system for writers is. But after the day I had yesterday, I’m changing it up a bit. I always thought the people around me, family, friends, etc, had no clue what I was going through on this literary road. They had no clue how hard the business is and how rough it can be.
This week has been rough, and I’ve endured some heavy beatings. Ones that made me question everything. Why am I doing this? What do I get from it? And what happens if nothing ever happens? I also questioned my talent and wondered why I even thought I could do this. All week the questions have rattled my brain. Last night I finally cracked. Mostly because my aunt yanked it out of me over a bowl of homemade guacamole. It helped me realize my weaknesses are opportunities to grow.
Let’s put the cards on the table. I suck at punctuation. I hate it. Comas, colons, semicolons—they made me want to rip my hair out. I must have been in la-la land when they taught it in grade school. Well, that or off doing a play of some sort. Plus, they School House Rock didn’t write a song to teach me. I can sing about nouns, verbs, adjectives, I even have the preamble memorized. Either way, I didn’t pay enough attention in primary school. I honestly never thought I’d be a writer. Maybe plays or scripts, but novelist? That wasn’t on my list.
But now it is. And I’m suffering from my own failings as a child. But now it’s time to get back to basics and learn. We’re always learning, aren’t we? If we don’t, then we’ll never grow. I know I’ve grown a lot. But I wonder how many other writers struggle with the same challenges and how they overcome it.
My aunt told me, one day I’ll be on the opposite side, giving someone else the same advice she gave me because I’ve been there. It’s our nature to respect people who work hard for what they have. She also said, you can teach technique and perfection but you can’t teach the art of story-telling. If you’re gifted with a crazy imagination, everything else will fall in line.
It reminded me that I’m not writing to get published or even to get agented—though that would be AWESOME—I write because I love it. I write for me and no one else. With an industry full of rejection and constantly being told what to do differently, you have to love it for yourself. And you also have to have good, supportive people surrounding you.
So, this blog entry is totally different from the one I wrote up yesterday and planned on posting. But it’s true and it came from my heart. Sometimes the best words come from the person sitting right next to you. You just have to let that wall down and talk it out.
I’ll end with a few words from Sarah Dessen’s SOMEONE LIKE YOU:
“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.”