Today was a really inspiring day and a rude awakening day. I realized that although I’m far away from my dream of publishing my book, I know I’m not giving up. I wavered for a while, thought about chucking it all in. “It’s too hard, too much commitment, too much heartache.” I lost sight of my goal, and I let other’s negativity infect me. But I overcame it all. I brought myself back up from the depths of my self doubt and loathing. But I also realized I still have just a job. Now I know complaining about having a job in this economy is like complaining about having to use your 5 karat gold toilet instead of your 10 karat gold toilet. But hear me out.
My job isn’t the worst job I’ve ever had, but it’s not my career. It’s there to make me money, get health insurance, etc. I’m there because I have to be but it’s not where I plan to retire. It’s not my passion. It’s not where I see myself in ten years. But I endure to put a roof over my head and food on the table. And on days when it stresses me out and makes me grind my teeth, it’s a cold reminder that I’m still in the thick of it, lost in a giant field trying to make my way towards my dream.
I can’t loose sight of the dream. How did I bring myself back from the dark depths in the first place? Couple ways. First, my family and friends. They are all wonderful people and my loving husband has listened to many of my gripe sessions. But it’s hard to complain about plot structure, character development, and lack of conflict to non-writers. They usually just give you a hug and do their best to understand.
That’s when writing friends come in handy. And my first and longest writing friend is Annie Neugebauer
! I met her back in February 2009 when I decided to take a chance on a newly formed writing critique group. One of the first things I said to her was, “I don’t think I’ll ever write a book.” Two years later I’m on my second draft of one. I love that I can be excited about writing poetry, novels, short stories with her.
When I finished my first draft last fall, she gave me (and our other writing gals ) journals. Being the easily distracted woman I am, I didn’t notice right away the encouraging words she wrote on the inside of the back cover. It took me two months. But once I did read it, it was very touching and heartfelt. A fellow writer and friend believed in me. It meant maybe this whole writing thing could be real. I’m in an ever constant battle with my fear of success.
And she has faith in my novel. My friends and family do too but it’s different with Annie. She’s seen my novel’s progress from a budding idea to where it is now. But she’s also able to tell me when something isn’t working which has made me very open to her critique. It’s a give and take. I also found myself sharing things with her about my past I didn’t expect too. I’m very open online but in person I’m incredibly private.
So thanks for being an awesome critique partner/friend/writer/cheerleader Annie!
What writing friend are you most fond of?