This time last year, I was struggling. In some points of my life, I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go or even how to get started. I wanted to write but no one gives you a handbook that paves the way in 12 easy steps.
I have written since I was little. I have the first book I ever wrote in 1st grade, still tucked into my baby book. I have the awards from high school competitions on some of my short poems and short stories. I had potential then, but no one encouraged me to write. No one said “Hey you aren’t bad at this, keep going.” Instead I heard, “You can’t write, you can’t even spell.” (that was from my mother, and while she will deny it, she did say it, more than once on this writing road I have traveled.)
So after high school I drifted into college, took a few semesters and ultimately came home – there’s a big story there but not going to tell it today- defeated because of one thing. No one was there to support me.
I’m not saying that my parents weren’t supportive, but I never had anyone in my corner asking me how I was doing, if I needed anything, praise me when I accomplished something or frowned at me when I failed because of stupid choices. The oldest of four kids and raised on a farm, I was always dependable, yet different from the rest. I plod through things, thoughts hidden from the outside world because I want so desperately to fit in.
I know a bit more about the type of person I am now. Just like many artists, I am insecure about my self and my work. I am also very cautious when critiquing what other write as at times I can come off very critical. What I crave, what I need is the feeling that I fit in. That my work is better than just OK. Though it needs improvement, it is better than the last thing I wrote. I’m working hard at it, and thought you might not see the work, it is there.
So when on Twitter, or FB or on blogs, I go all “YOU CAN DO IT!” or “BELIEVE AND IT WILL HAPPEN!” I am whole-heartedly cheering you on because I know how it is to doubt your self. I used to get up every morning with a pep talk on just getting through today, tomorrow will be better. For every down turn, I said six in my head to bring things up. It worked, because I am in such a better place now.
While I have only begun to climb the stairs that lead to publication, I’m not on the bottom rung anymore. There is a long way still to the top. But I am going to get there.