Sunday, September 18, 2016

On which I confess my crippling doubt

Confession time: Whenever I am asked, "How's writing?" I kind of shake my head and shrug and say, "Fine." But here is what is behind that shrug.

Writing is hard. It's soul crushing. It's almost as bad as getting your heart ripped out and stomped on by someone who you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. Almost. Maybe it's equal. (Not that I know about heart break like that. Nope. Not me. Certainly not recently.)

It's like if you were to bare your soul and body and put it on display on a big screen in the middle of Times Square just to have people pass by and say "NOPE." Like...every day. For years. My skin is becoming a massive blanket of steel and yet, sometimes...the water from my tears seep in and corrode the soft interior I'm trying to protect.

And these past few months, I've been blocked. Like SEVERELY blocked. I have NO words in me anymore. I think the hundreds of "no's" are starting to chip away at me. The doubt is crippling. Like what if none of the stories I have to tell matter to anyone but me? What if I'm not cool enough or battered enough or loud enough or talented enough or SOMETHING enough?

I've been thinking about quitting. About throwing in every metaphorical towel there is to throw. I'm flagging writing for unnecessary roughness and pass interference. I'm in the 4th down and it's time to punt or go for it or maybe just call a damn time out and watch a Budweiser commercial. I don't know. Why am I using football references? Well, it IS Sunday after all.

It's hard to hear agent after agent say how talented you are, how wonderful the words are, how your premise is amazing, and yet...not interested. I have written 3 full novels. I have 2 half finished ones that may or may not ever be finished. I have written a dozen short stories.


I have doubts that I'll ever find an agent. And I know there are other ways to self publish and all that, but that's not the road I want to go down, for lots of reasons.

Lately, I wake up and feel like a fraud. Like I am not a "real" writer. And even though some friends will say "You are! You don't have to be published!", I can't help the way I FEEL. But still...all I feel like I am doing is writing an extended essay or creative writing prompt for some teacher who is never going to see it.

And I really hate talking about it, complaining. It's something I keep to myself for the most part. I just want to feel like it's real. And lately, for me, I am not sure if it ever will be. Maybe it's just another dream like having a big family or being a size 2 (hell, I'll take a 6) or being in love again. Something I aim for, try like hell to attain, but will always be just close enough to feel, but far enough to be unreachable.

It's been over 5 years since I finished my first book. 9 since I started. And I am no closer to my goal then I was when I first started. Or at least it certainly doesn't feel that way.

So, where does that leave me? I am not sure. I don't know if I have enough heart left to feel it break with every new rejection.And yet, my brain is still working like mad, trying to come up with another idea. Another premise. Hoping maybe this one will be THE one.

Because, at the end of the day, I keep going for that last minute touchdown. I want to be the comeback team. The underdog who made it from the 2nd string to the star quarterback. I want to be able to one day post here and say...I have an agent. A deal. A book.

I don't know if that will ever happen. Or if I'm strong like hell for continuing to try or stupid for letting myself believe that it's possible. So, in case you were wondering, or wanted to ask how my writing is going...there it is. so very hard.


  1. Don't you dare quit.

    The Writing or anything else.

    Don't you f**king dare.


  2. I wrote several scripts and four full novels before I got an agent. Between my third and fourth books I was in a really bad place in my head, to the point where I couldn't write for weeks. And all those questions and worries? They don't really go away when you get on the other side of the fence. Writing is tough at the best of times. When it's not the best of times it can seem impossible. You are strong for continuing to try. *hugs*


Say what?