A friend of mine recently posted a status on Facebook, inviting her friends to scream about their insecurities together. Feeling open to vulnerability, I commented. I certainly didn’t dump all of my insecurities there, because no one has time for that if I’m not paying them.
But one of the things I did say was that, among my many anxieties about my life, I worry that writing is not where my life is meant to go. I’ve been writing “seriously” since I was 13. I wrote my first fanfiction at age 9 but the idea that writing was an actual thing I could do hadn’t occurred to me until I was 13, and after that, I was sold. That was it for me.
I was a writer, and anyone who wanted to tell me otherwise wasn’t worth my time.
From five years, I could be found either reading or writing. Often, a little bit of both at the same time. When I started getting on the internet, I sought out a community of other writers to learn from. I read all the blogs, followed all the agents and authors and fellow aspiring authors. It was amazing, and I learned so much from that time.
I turned 18, and I started working a day job. Between a full-time job, my undiagnosed and fully ignored depression, I found little time for writing, let alone participating in a community that I was rapidly losing touch with.
My blog posts dwindled. I didn’t have anything to talk about when writing began to slip through my fingers as a dream I’d lost my chance at. I was 18, and already having a mid-life crisis about my “career.”
I went to a writing conference — earlier than I really should’ve, to be honest, but I certainly wouldn’t trade that experience for much.
I’ve spent more of my life being a writer than I have not being a writer. So the idea that this isn’t what I’m meant to do is terrifying. I’ve toyed with the idea of agenting, editing, publicity — something related to publishing somehow, but maybe not this craft I’ve dedicated myself to.
And to be honest, I don’t think I could tell you how much of this comes from anxiety, depression, and how much of it is a legitimate feeling. I don’t want to let go of writing. And I know I don’t have to. No one is telling me that I can’t hack it, or that I don’t have the talent or skill — quite the opposite. And I know that I have the skill and talent, and the dedication, to make this work for me.
But sometimes I don’t know it, and it’s hard to believe even the voices of my friends, and the people who have done nothing but cheer me on from day one.
I don’t want to let go of this dream, so fuck it. I’m not going to. I will continue to go after this, because when it comes down to it, I’m the only one in my way. And I’m tired of fighting against myself and my own bullshit self-image. It’s crap, and it has no basis in reality.