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 🙂
5 responses to “Writing Ramblings”
Exactly. We do the work because we love it, and if we find success, that’s all the more to love. Keep going~
Very true! Good luck with your writing, hopefully we’ll all reach our dreams 🙂
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I agree with Kate. If a person’s main reason for writing is simply to gain “conventional” success (whatever that means), be ready for disappointment. One needs to be able to find other reasons for persevering, and when you do, it’s ever so worth it.
Yeah, it was definitely my wake-up call that being a successful writer doesn’t necessarily mean having a bestselling book and millions in royalties. It’s about sticking to our passion and doing it for ourselves 🙂