A lost post in which I'm reminded just how much I love the writerly world
Funny how life has so many ups and downs. Okay, not funny, but I don't know, amusing, I guess. A lot of highs and lows are brought on because we've compared ourselves to others, or assessed someone else's response/reaction to us and made that to be who we are. Problem with that is, we're letting others set our self-worth, and in turn, allowing their perception/acceptance of us determine our self-esteem. This is not safe, people. It just isn't. We need to be looking somewhere else for our acceptance; and it isn't to any humans on this earth no matter how good, smart, or talented they are.
Just a few days ago, I was ready to hang up my writerly towel (though I wouldn't really have done it, but I am here being honest with you, readers, because there's no point in acting as though any journey is perfect and all sunshine and lollipops... we all go through things, that's how we learn). My last post was all about subjectiveness and the fact that everyone is going to have an opinion and many times those opinions are going to differ. Ultimately, I am happy about this. I can't imagine a world where we all smile and nod our heads like drones and follow each others' opinions without ever forming any of our own.
The reason I brought this up is today I was going through my posts earlier, and I found one I did just a few weeks ago but forgot to post. And you can see my heart, you can see my joy and how appreciative I was (still am--I want to make sure there's no question about how appreciative I still am). When we go through hard times or start to think we're horrible at what we love to do or that joy is just gone, suddenly, it's a good idea to go back and look at things like this. To remind ourselves of how far we've come. To get our eyes on our current situation and remember how many steps it took to actually get where we are now. This was my reminder. It came at just the perfect time.
A post a wrote few weeks ago and forgot to post:
I've found this entire writerly process to be amazing. And hard. And time consuming. And wonderful. And painful. And heartfelt. And something I never could have gone through by myself.
With that said, there are a few different things that keep authors (writers--poets--don't care what you call yourself, if you're a curator of words, then you count) afloat. I'm feeling rather blessed this week, as the Lord has obviously opened a few doors with a single bit of effort on my part, and the result of this lovely experience is me feeling that I should explain how my "career" has survived.
First group: Though many of you probably have not learned about my writing until recently, this October will mark me writing for five years. (It will also mark me turning thirty-five. But uh, back to writing.) Five. Years. To me, that's a long time. Many other writers say this, and yep--I'm going to say it, too. What do you do for five years? Well, you write. (I feel like Dori from Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimming... just keep swimming... What do we do? We swim!" only insert the word write where the word swimming is, of course.) You put every single thought on the page and you work those thoughts and ideas and storylines and tweak them and send them out into the world and they come back sometimes worse off than before and you get lots of rejections and sometimes the opposite and and... yeah. But here's the important part: you keep going. That's what's important to remember. Because at the end of a few years, you'd be amazed at a) your growth, b) the amount of words you've actually tallied and c) I'm going to say it again--your growth.
I'd also like to point out something out on a personal level. Until everything that went on with Lovemuffin and his sickness and subsequent healing and all a couple years ago, time--writerly wise--went a whole lot slower. (I know, I know, some of you are probably not wanting to read this now, but I need to say it: When you allow Him to be your everything, and when you know He always wants the best for you, always--it's true--things change for the better.)
For me, when I stopped worrying about everything and told Him what I wanted and left it in His hands, my writing came easier. Time flew by; stress disappeared. Instead of making those wheels turn over and over in the sand, I began to lean on Him for everything; let Him be the one to make things work in my favor. I began to expect His blessings to come my way, and as I did that, everything that went with the chaos of being a writer and doing all the stuff you're expected to do (by someone's rules... not quite sure whose, yet so many of us embrace them all the same) evaporated. I cannot tell you how many times He has made things work out in ways I never ever could have imagined, OR made happen on my own. There is no question in my mind Who is in control.
Second point: If you spend enough time with this writerly community, it'll actually blow your mind. There are so many people out there (mainly on the internet) who are in the same boat (though technically in different stages of the journey), that you can either a) turn into a competitive crazy, or b) embrace the fact that others are going through the same things. The second one obviously is a better choice, and beneficial to both parties. You get to celebrate each others' good news, and lift each other up when needed, too. I will continue to point out that the camaraderie in this community cannot be properly explained, only felt. That's how strongly I feel about my fellow writers. :)
Being able to be in not one, but two groups of talented people who can 1) vent to me and let me vent to them and 2) we can all share in celebrations of other writers and other books and words in general is a tremendous blessing. If you are a writer and haven't found a group yet, I suggest looking around. (I say this goes for anyone with anything they love--find more people who love the same things as you!)
Third point: The reading community is pretty awesome, too. It takes a wee bit longer to get to this part, as you have to have enough writing done to actually be read, obviously, but let me tell you, they are awesome. To be willing to read and review your work is such a wonderful thing. Reading takes time, as does reviewing, or even simply giving opinions. All are appreciated by us writers (authors... however you want to say it) and without you we'd have a whole lot less exposure.
One other thing: I love the reading community not just in the aspect of reading *our* writing for reviewing purposes, but also for reading in general. I have met some great people online for the sole reason that we absolutely love certain books. To squee about them and get all excited and fan-crazy is such a wonderful and fun experience!
And those are a few ways in which I've made it the past (almost) five years. I appreciate every single person I've crossed paths with along the way--positive or negatively--because they have helped shape me into who I am. And not only that, but because (as I say all the time), camaraderie is a huge factor in making this journey an enjoyable one. So thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever read anything of mine, or shared a tweet, or responded to one, or added me somewhere, or emailed me back, or given me the opportunity to be on your blog, or just generally shared in my love of reading and writing. You all mean more to me than you'll ever know.