I'm writing this blog because god knows there have been times that I've needed to read this. I hope that if you're out there and you're considering giving up, that this blog finds you somehow and convinces you otherwise.
You've come up with an idea, actually you've come up with hundreds but this is the one that's sticking more than the others. There is something about this one that slots into place perfectly for where you are right now in your life.
Suddenly, the idea is no longer a concept or an image in your head but they are characters and a journey and what comes next just pulls you in deeper.
You obsess, you spend every waking and slumbering moment thinking of these characters and their journeys. You develop the idea and you wake up in the middle of the night and half asleep scrawl something down onto a scrap of paper, not knowing if when you wake up in the morning, it will be utter crap or a stroke of genius. You wake up thinking of it and go to bed praying you'll dream about it. There is nothing else in your life. You worship this idea.
You start to write a first draft, at the beginning it's tough, some of the chapters you really feel like you're pulling at teeth to get through. You carefully start to structure a plot, subtext, themes, sub plots and more. You question your character's journeys and challenge them. You ask yourself, should I reward them with what they want? What they need? Or what they deserve? But in the end you finally finish your first draft.
You edit and my god, it's painful. But you do it and you ponder how mental it is that what started as a flash second thought in your head has turned into something that's making your laptop run at unbearably slow speeds. You procrastinate and go out to PC World to get more RAM for your laptop but your document is still there waiting for you when you return home and it needs to be edited. After you've mustered your strength, you carry on and you edit the damn thing.
Before you know it you have a short list of agents and presses that you are querying. Your on the edge of a cliff and you know that almost certainly you won't receive one yes, but part of you is so hopeful that you jump anyway and fall. The fall is always the best part, but we all must hit the ground some day.
You've got your first rejection and then your second and third, and then you wake up one day, maybe years later and have your hundredth.
You've hit rock bottom. You have no self belief or self esteem. You once proudly proclaimed 'I will be a writer' and now you aren't certain. You question if you're special enough or if you have what it takes and you wonder if this is really what you were meant for. You question why you carry on living even.
From here there are two things you can do. You can either start to climb once again, even if it hurts or you can walk away.
Every creative has been here. You don't stand in the dark on your own. It's okay to want to cry or to feel more than disappointed. It's okay to want to lean on someone. Creatives are sensitive people because we care so passionately and we each believe that what we are making is great or has the potential to be great given the right agent or publisher.
Ask yourself right now how much you really want this, and if you really, really do, carry on reading.
Still with me? Great. If you are reading this, then that is the single most important reason to carry on pursuing what you love, because if you can go through all of that hard work and rejection and if you can go through watching something you loved so dearly and held on a pedestal be torn limb from limb by hungry agents and publishers, and you still want it bad, then you need to start climbing again. If you are willing to put yourself through something like that and then start again, you are cut out for this and you deserve it.
Never give up, things will get dark and cold but if you love something, never give up on it. The greatest things are forged in violent fires and hardship and you will succeed if you persevere.
From one rejected writer to another, we're all born with stories to tell, don't let anything get in the way of that.