I haven’t blogged in a long time, but even before that, my posts were dropping off at an alarming rate. I claimed lack of time and that I prefered to hang out on Twitter and Tumblr, which is true, but not the whole truth.
I was sad. I am sad. I didn’t have anything new to write about. Sure, I could do a post about drafting. Again. I could write about revising hell. Again. I could laugh about how crazy this writing thing is or cry about how unbelievably painful the whole is experience is.
I could have written those posts. And I did, multiple times, but I always deleted them. I couldn’t ignore that other people—people who started blogging about the same time as me—were writing about new things. Agents. Editors. Deadlines.
I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was standing still.
The number of times I’ve wanted to write this post in the last few years must be getting close to triple digits. I kept telling myself that no one really cares. It will come off as bitter. People will think you’re pathetic. And yet, every time I’d read a similiar post, I’d be filled with such gratitude. The weight would lift a little, and I’d know I wasn’t alone. I am not the only person struggling.
I am not the one person wanting something and watching other people succeed where I haven’t.
So this post is for anyone who feels like I do.
It’s hard, for me, anyway. Every time someone else succeeds, I feel like I’ve failed. Every time someone else signs with an agent or seals a book deal, every time someone else takes that next step, I can’t ignore the fact that I am standing still. I am standing still and everyone else is surging forward.
Or that’s how it feels, anyway.
But it’s not the truth. I am not standing still. Every day I’m reading books and noticing what the good ones do well and what the bad ones don’t do at all. I am sitting down every time my child is asleep and writing new words or revising old ones. I am critiquing manuscripts of my very talented friends and asking them to do the same with mine.
I am learning every day and getting better.
But still, it’s hard.
As I’ve worked through the agony of the last few years, the thing I've come to realise is this: all you can do is try. That’s the only part you control. I’m not ever going to get published if I don’t try, if don’t put in the effort, if I don’t show up and give it every I’ve got.
I’m not going to get published if I let my wanting paralyse me.
I wish I could say that you’ll get there in the end, that we all will. The truth is, we might not. I might not. And that’s a hard thing to own, but if it’s worth the effort then it’s worth the effort.
So good luck to you all, and I hope you get there in the end. If I can offer you any advice, it would be this: Believe in yourself because if you can’t, no one else will. It’s a daily struggle for me, but I’ll keep working on it.
And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll have something new to blog about.