Thursday, August 8, 2019

Asking yourself why

There are so many guides out there that help you not give up when you’re trying to reach a goal. Article after article and blog after blog will offer all kinds of encouragement and advice on how to keep your courage up when the odds seem impossible. By this point in my life, I think I’ve read pretty much all of them.

The thing is, none of them work. Wanting to become a professional novelist is one of the stupidest possible things you could possibly do with your time, at least among the category of things that won’t potentially get you killed. Especially if you have any kind of anxiety or self-esteem issues, the idea that you would constantly put your heart and soul out there to get rejected seems mind-bogglingly insane. It’s like volunteering to be slapped in the face and pushed down the stairs over and over again, when literally no one is making you do this.

I’ve tried to ask myself why I do this a thousand times. On my good days, I have a whole, beautifully impassioned speech about hope, and passion, and how important it is to tell your story. On my good days, I could make you cry with how deeply I believe in the power of writing.

On my bad days, I get a single, bald-faced question in reply – “What the hell else are you going to do?” Because, like with any addiction, the only way you can be done with a game like this is to be 100 percent, slam the door done. I will have to accept with every fiber of my being that there is no possible way I could ever make this work, and I will have to let it go forever. I’ll have to put away the version of myself that I’ve lived with for the last three decades, and figure out whether there’s anything else out there I could possibly want to do with the rest of my life.

Even the thought of it terrifies me.

So I get up again, and I keep fighting. Because even if I die never having made it, it’s better than living the rest of my life accepting that I never will.