Yesterday I felt like giving up. I was depressed in general, have been for a little while (say ten+ years), and I had just been rejected from a short story contest (though I made it through the first round of judging) and a summer workshop opportunity.
I lay there on my bed for a long time asking myself seriously the following questions: why am I a writer? Will I really be happy if I continue to face this sort of rejection for the rest of my life? Am I having the impact I want to have through my writing? Is writing the best way for me to achieve my overall goals? What else could I do besides writing?
It’s not the first time I’ve asked myself these questions, and it won’t be the last. I may very well face rejection for the rest of my life and die without achieving any of my writing goals. This is a real possibility and maybe even likely.
Don’t worry, though, I’m going to keep writing, because my answer to the above questions were as follows:
- I am a writer because that’s the way I think, it’s the way my brain works. I dream about writing all night. I wake up and it’s the first thing I think about. When things happen to me, my first step in processing is to create a story around it.
- I believe that some people somewhere would respond to and appreciate my writing. This feels narcissistic from time to time, but I remember how much I crave writing that speaks to me about certain topics and I am committed to being that voice for someone.
- I truly believe this is the best way for me to achieve my goals of creating a more just and compassionate world.
So, I’ll keep writing. In my stubborn and intractable way. I will keep writing because it’s all that I can do.
Just know if you have long, dark tea-times of the soul when you question everything, you’re not alone. There can be rough periods, but I’m so grateful to have the support system I have. My friends, my family, I say this a lot, but I couldn’t do this without you. Even when I think no one else could possibly be interested in what I have to say, I know you’ll at least read out of familial obligation.
So, don’t give up! You can do this! I am rooting for you!
Sending so much love,