Being a writer can be tough.
Being a writer can be goddamn brutal.
I don’t like to consider myself a “writer” yet. Yes I’ve made money off of my writing, hell, I’ve even had pieces published in professional markets. But deep down I still haven’t allowed myself to claim to the title, to adapt it and take it seriously.
Imposter syndrome is huge in the writing world and it’s got me firmly in it’s grip.
I’m still seeking representation for my first novel. I’m one of thousands and thousands of hopefully writers, spamming emails and obsessively refreshing their inbox at the hopes that an agent will not only read their labor of love, but actually enjoy it.
I know the odds that I’ll get this first book out on shelves is slim. Very, very few authors sell their first book. It’s not till their second or third that they get one picked up. I know this might be my reality, but I can’t allow myself to give into those feelings and those thoughts. I need the hope, I need push to keep driving me forward down this path.
Should I? Is that a healthy mentality? I couldn’t tell you, but the idea of shelving my passion project, the work I spent the last three years on and starting the entire process over again does the exact opposite for my motivation, so I’m gonna keep shooting out those query letters and entering those pitch contests.
Besides the technical aspects of writing, people underestimate the mental strain and emotional marathon it takes to go from your first words to a final book. It’s crushing at times.
I remember I sent my book out to someone for a beta read, he was probably me second actual reader of my finished book.
He sent me an email two weeks later telling me that my book was not in the condition it needed to be for him to read it.
I was destroyed.
But he was right. I had tried to jump the turnstile and get beta feedback before I’d done my line edits. Yes my story was finished, but as a manuscript it was far from complete. I was so desperate to reach the next step that I put myself through emotional turmoil in the attempt to get there faster.
It’s a tough and lonely road, one that I’m still on. I’m writing this blog post not as a warning, or a way to share advice, but to vent, to allow myself to express the frustration I’m experiencing.
That’s how it goes. Everyone goes through it and I know that no matter what happens, I’ll come out the other side and continue writing because that the key, you just gotta keep writing.