I had one of “those days” this week. If you write at all, you know the ones I mean. Writing, and pursuing the dream of publication is an emotional roller coaster all its own.
Many days, if not most, there is this feeling ripe with the possibility of world domination (even if it’s the world you yourself have created). Anything is possible, you see your dreams as just within reach, and you go for it one word at a time.
Then, “those days”, the other ones, you feel like it is so far outside your grasp that reaching for it is a complete waste of your time and effort. I’ve had this conversation with myself numerous times:
Dreamer Me: I can do this.
The Devil On My Shoulder: Even if you “do it” no one will read it. Even if they read it, they will most likely hate it.
Dreamer Me: No, if I keep at it I can whip it into a well-executed piece of literature.|
The Devil On My Shoulder: Nah. The best you can do it write a bunch of gibberish down. And you don’t learn. You still like to show instead of tell and sometimes overuse adverbs.
Dreamer Me: I’ve improved a lot.
The Devil: Eh.
Dreamer Me: Maybe it would be better to just walk away. I mean, after all, I have a job, a family, friendships to maintain….
The Devil: Now, you’re talking. It takes too much time. You’re neglecting every other good thing in your life. And for what? It could all be for nothing.
Dreamer Me: Ugh! I love it, though. But you’re right, D, it’ll probably end up being for nothing. And then I’ll look back and regret the time I gave to writing instead of to my children.
The Devil: Yup, you’re pretty much the worst mom ever.
Defeated Dreamer Me (reduced to a whisper): But I love it.
And on it can go. Anything can spur it. Sometimes the story doesn’t flow well, sometimes there is difficult feedback, sometimes it’s just impossible to connect Point A to Point B. And sometimes a choice between writing and the other things of life demands to be made, and I just don’t feel like there is a right decision.
But you know what? I do love it. And I keep responding to that little nay-saying devil on my shoulder until I can say it loud enough and confidently enough to make him shut up. And when I do, guess what? That feeling comes back. World Domination around the corner, the hope and belief that little ‘ol me might be able to write something that someone-maybe someones-enjoys reading. All that creative energy, those unwritten stories swirling around inside-those are for me to write. Sure, someone might be able to write them better. But they are mine, and they are nagging me to put them down on paper.
So, at the end of the day, Dreamer Me wins out every single time. Because the truth is, I do love it and besides that, with as loud as the Devil On My Shoulder can sometimes be, those stories shout louder.
I’m going to listen. How about you?