If you're a writer, like me, you've undoubtedly been on the ups and downs of the roller coaster. We get so much fulfillment from creating stories, and most of us want to share that creativity with the world. A few lucky ones actually get to. The rest of us struggle and work and struggle and work ... always hoping that one day we'll really make it where we want to be.
I think it's important to remember we're all on different paths. Sometimes it's hard to see others around you succeeding--even though you may be truly happy for them--when you still have nothing to show for your hard work but a pile of rejected manuscripts. But then you have to ask, "How many rejections did that successful writer have to go through to get to where they are? How much work?"
It's different for everyone, of course. And it's not a race, or a game. It's our art. And it always needs polishing and honing, just as any craft or art does. Some will get there faster than others, but the important thing is that we focus on what we love about what we do.
Take ballet, for instance. Some ballet dancers start at the age of three. A few will love it so much, they'll stay with it well into their teen and young adult years. Will all of them make the New York Ballet Company in their prime? Uh, probably not. But does that mean they give up halfway through because the odds are against them? No way! Why? Because they are undeniably infatuated with the dance.
Does a ballerina set her sights on the New York Ballet Company, but never practice ballet? Maybe, but she ain't too smart if she does. Most likely, the aspiring ballerina dances every day, for hours at a time, always trying to perfect her pirouettes and pliets and piques. She never assumes she can just audition for Swan Lake based on the fact she loves to dance and can see herself as a ballerina. She would be a fool.
No, the aspiring ballerina works diligently to become the best dancer she can. And she would NEVER dream of auditioning for the NY Ballet Company unless she'd spent years of perfecting her technique. Are their a few lucky ones who make it through, even though their ballet is not in tip top form? Maybe. But it shows. And will they be the ones who make the starring role? Never.
Does the aspiring ballerina stop dancing because she doesn't make the cut? Possibly. But not if she ever DOES want to make it. She knows she must keep working and dancing and hoping and dreaming that one day she will be good enough.
Just like writing.
Sure, it may be hard getting there, but if we keep working at it, we'll feel much more confident in our abilities, and when we do make it, we'll have EARNED it.
* A ballerina keeps practicing, keeps learning, in order to be her best.
* A pianist practices day and night to become better, more skillful.
* A painter is always open to learning new brush strokes or techniques for the best artwork.
* A writer writes every day, reads everything they can, and keeps honing their craft for the best, most seamless, story they can create.
I've written six novel-length stories so far and have nothing to show for it, other than a lengthy finished projects list. But does that mean I'm not cut out to be a writer? I say no. It just means I have more work to do. And just like ballerinas love to dance, I love to write. I love to dance too, but definitely not cut out as ballerina material. lol
Are you there yet? If so, how long did it take? If not, are you ready to commit to and work for your dream, your passion? I know, I am. Care to join me? May I have this dance?