So the other day I bought a few writer’s magazines from Barnes and Noble. The cashier, an older, gray-haired man with glasses, asked if I wrote fiction. I replied yes and that I was trying to get published. He looked me in the eye with the most worn, forlorn expression I’d seen in a long time.
“Good luck, it’s tough out there,” he sighed.
I asked if he was a writer too. He replied yes, a publisher as well. I was shocked; he was so depressed, so downtrodden by life. As I walked out the door, I couldn’t help but wonder if in twenty years I’d feel the same. It was so disconcerting that the brief exchange stayed with me all day.
The more I research and delve into the writing world, the more I realize how this man is no different from many other disappointed writers. So many of them are phenomenal, yet never see the day their work is appreciated. I had to take some time to re-assess my dreams- are they worth it in the end?
Of course the answer was yes. I really have no choice in the matter. Writing is what I do, what I’ve always done and must continue doing. And I think the writers who have endured decades of “no’s” are in the same boat. They keep moving forward slowly and steadily, despite the negativity, despite their own self-doubt.
Though this man’s reaction to the writing world was disconcerting, I can’t help but deeply admire him. He hasn’t written that bestselling novel, yet he still keeps going, never gives up on the dream. I finally came to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if in twenty years I felt like him, at least it meant I’d kept trying 🙂