Hello Ebi! Hello Family!
I was with my son at a musicians’ college fair in Philly last week. At one of the workshops, the speaker said that when he told his parents that he wanted to be a musician, they cringed. They could not see music as a career – that it wasn’t a steady career choice. “Six months after graduation, no job, debt…” Get the picture?
I’m sure plenty of you had experienced the same thing when you decided to travel the often bumpy, frustrating, heart-wrenching, infuriating path of a writer. There is NOTHING smooth about this road. Between the painful birth of the story, the editing, rewrites, critiques, querying, denials, more rewrites (you get the picture) – it’s alot.
There are more naysayers out there than there are supporters. Many of them see writing as a waste of time. “You? Getting published? Please. Get a real job.” But for most of us, writing is an obsession, a career, a passionate, steamy love affair with words. We have a message to share and a story to tell. We intentionally spill our emotions or our characters business onto paper or into a computer.
And even if we stop writing for a while, we always come back. The need to write or read what someone else has written is like an irritating gnat hovering before you. It’s a constant reminder that there is something undone, a task not finished, a story untold. As time passes and you stare at all those lovely covers on the shelves of your favorite indie bookstore, you’ll always wonder, “Could that have been me?”
Today I acknowledged the abolitionist Sojourner Truth on Twitter. She chose her name because, as a religious woman she felt compelled to “sojourn” – to travel and preach to those who needed to be educated on the atrocities of slavery and oppression. As writers we too “sojourn.” We find ourselves on a journey to publishing – taking a variety of steps along the way. However, there will always be cynics ready to tell you why your path is the wrong one. Ignore them.
Do you have naysayers in your life? Those that laugh when you share your ‘writerly’ dreams?
I’d love to hear about it!