I love to write. Writing is fulfilling. Creating characters and following them through their journey to love is a sincere and great joy. I want to be published some day, I’m determined to be published some day, but it’s not the be all end all for me.
In the beginning of one of my favorite books on writing (Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, the kind of book that is well worn with love and multiple reads, notes in the margins, dog-eared pages), Lamott talks about a writing class she teaches and most of the students just want to know how to get published. She discusses that getting published isn’t the point–writing is. In the end, she revisits the topic of publication and uses a line from the movie Cool Runnings. “If you’re not good enough before the gold medal, you won’t be enough with it.”
I write because I love it. Because I can’t imagine what my life would be without writing. I write because some part of me has to. I want to be published. Absolutely, one hundred percent, I want to be able to say I am a published author. It is a life goal and one I will be discouraged not to accomplish–but be all, end all? Nope, not even close. It can be frustrating, disappointing, discouraging. You can doubt yourself, your abilities, but at the end of the day, it shouldn’t be about publication. It should be about loving to write.
At the end of a day of rejections, of not finding yourself on any list, oR staring at a blank page, or reading a published book you think should never have been published over you, if you really love to write, you owe it to yourself to dust it off and remind yourself:
I love to write.
I’m going to keep trying, writing, learning, evolving.
Next time might be THE time. (And if not, the time after that).
And (borrowing a line from Scarlet O’Hara), tomorrow is another day.