Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Sculpture of Anonymus in Budapest
This unforgettable quote from Ernest Hemingway reminds me of a conversation I had some time ago.
"So, when did you decide to be a writer?" "Well, I have written since I was a little girl." "Okay, but everybody I know wants to be a writer!" "Let them be! The person who writes is a writer, the person who doesn't, is not. It’s simple like that." "But there is more to it than that. You can aspire to be a published author, or a bestselling author, or a magazine free-lance writer, or a professional ghost writer..." "It doesn't matter. You should aspire to be a better writer."
There we go. Sometimes we writers feel like no one respects us. Every writer likes to be read and to receive feedback (more good than bad). The best people to share our experiences might be other writers who feel how we feel. Between wanting to be something, and actually being it, there is a long road to travel. To get where we want to be as writers is another story. I don't say that to be a pessimist, but if we want to be writers, we need to actually WRITE. There is no advice towards performing this action. Chances are that all we are taught might work, but it might not. If people don't comment, how do we know if they read it? As writers, we want to write what we want, not what is being sold. That means that there are no answers on how to be a writer. I have a friend that wrote a fabulous book. Most editors and publishers he presented his masterpiece to, simply turned him down saying that the book was not marketable. Rejections came, one after the other. That was discouraging. It makes us skeptical and wonder about our role as writers. Rejection makes us feel like amateurs. Rejection makes us feel like everyone else is better than we are. Many great authors I know, some even in the New York Times Best Seller list, opted for self-publishing, and got to put their work out there. The most important thing is to love your work and to be confident in its value. When we live in a world where everything revolves around money and profit companies can get from your ideas, it's so hard to put out there what we think. Some days a blank page is so scary and feels like we are climbing a lost mountain in the worst snowstorm. Other days we hate what we wrote that day. Many times we need to take care of paying the bills, because we stress about writing our book and publishing, and about whether anybody buys it besides some friends and other writers, and whether we need to go out of our route and find extra jobs to pay the pile of bills. Or we stress about whether we need marketing for our work in order to reach the most people we can for the premiere of our next book. This can make us lose the track, stop writing for a while, and get stuck. We all have good and bad days and they are part of life. We need to return to the routine and keep writing anyway. Until we finish. Yes, finish!
Write until our craft is readable, and understood. In the end, we create our world and it's ours. It will always have someone to tell you what doesn't matter. In the very end, it's always between you and the blank page you are looking at. It's you and your story. Better if you like it and want to write it, and do it well. Expect rewards for the things we do, or write, is a one- way road, and it can become discouraging. In everything we do in life the most important is to embrace the feeling of satisfaction when we get to do our thing. So write. Photograph. Paint. Run. Cook. It doesn't matter. This feeling of discouragement can happen with everyone, not just writers. As a mother I feel like I'm invisible a lot of the time, but I keep doing everything just as a mother that loves her child would.
If I'm happy with who I am and with what I do, nobody, and I mean nobody, will make me stop to look back. Not even myself.
In the end, it's between you and your Maker. It matter what He thinks, and no one else.