For those who care to look,
For those who dare to see,
I’ll pull the curtain back,
And reveal what’s truly me.
With the bloom hardly off this New Year I’ve decided to try something a bit different for this post. We all face challenges to our dreams and right now I’m in the midst of a challenge to my dream of becoming a novelist. Instead of pretending to be okay to anyone not in my closest inner circle, I’ve decided to do a diary post of sorts in the hope that it might inspire someone out there, or at least let them know we all get knocked down from time to time.
Behind every story there is a thought process. For me, that sometimes means a dramatic scene or snapshot image in my mind which I then form into a story. Such as, I see a man falling off a cliff. Why did he go and put himself up on that cliff to begin with? Was he pushed? Did he throw himself off? Is he tied to anything, or is he just going to go splat on the ground? And last week’s story wasn’t any different, but it was quite a bit more real for me than the average story I write.
You see, when I sat down to write A Door Unexpected I had just been knocked flat on my backside (metaphorically speaking). The editor I had been working with on my novel, whom shall remain nameless and gender-less because I hold no ill-will toward this person, had just dropped me. I had paid this person to edit my book, and they didn’t. To be fair to them, they also wished me well and said I was a talented writer and I don’t believe they meant any ill.
The reason I’m sharing this is not to berate this person. I’m sure they felt their job was well done because they went through the first few chapters multiple times, although that was not in any way what had been discussed for them to do, but I want to set the scene for where my head is right now. The editor I had been working with was someone I trusted. Someone who said they knew me and my writing well enough to be able to help me and keep my vision for the book, and someone that right up through their last word to me said they believed in me.
I want, with everything in me, to say they were telling me the truth and so I will say they did mean well. However, to be dropped the way I was has set my head to spinning. I want to be angry with them, but I know it won’t to me any good. I don’t understand why they did what they did, and it’s my nature to question if my writing was just too terrible to work with, but then I’m an admitted soft-shell when it comes to my writing.
When I first began working with this person and told them what the book was about and introduced them to my characters they had urged me to try for traditional publishing. They had made it seem like a glittering trophy at the end of a finish line that I could attain if I just worked hard enough. It wasn’t long before they dropped my book that they told me it would probably be best for me not to submit it to agents or publishers because my writing is clean, but not religious. Thus, in their mind, neither the religious or secular sectors would want me.
Perhaps they truly did mean only to help me, I do realize it’s only their opinion, but something in it, and then being dropped, knocked a whole through my confidence which was admittedly already fragile. I’m being candid when I say I feel like I’m in a boat under a cloudy sky with no land in sight. They had had me preparing for so long to go the traditional route and having me believe they wanted to help me the whole way. It was why I started this blog, because they said no publisher would touch me without an online following. I have to thank them for this though, because I love writing for all of you. I love sharing my work, even in this small way.
The crescendo of this drama happened on Sunday two weeks ago and in the time between then and now I’ve had to ask myself if I’m really cut out to be an author. I know no matter which route I go I’m going to be knocked, and rightly so. Everyone will have their thoughts, and most will share them, and I can’t expect them all to be pleasant. And thus I come to the point of this post: If my dream is worth having, as I believe it is, it’s worth me pulling myself back up, and dusting off my backside. It’s worth not knowing how far I am from where I need to be and taking another step anyway. It’s worth knocking on doors until the right one opens. Not only that, but the talent I’ve been given, regardless of what anyone else wants to say or do, is worth using and molding and growing. I have more to learn, and more bruises to be gained, but I can’t let that make me give up. And neither can you, dear reader. Whatever your dream, and no matter how far you have to go, take another step.
I may not know how far to go,
Or how long before I’ll rest.
I may not know what path to take,
But the rockiest path leads to my best.
Thank you so much for reading.