You ever hike and get to the point on an uphill section where you are bent practically to your toes, using your arms to push your thighs, just so you can take one more step? You can’t even look up to find the next bend because if you do, you’ll fall over and never get up?
That’s where I am in my writing life at the moment. It’s dark and I’m sweaty and I can’t breathe. I used littleredtarot’s journal prompt this month to try and get a leg up.
The question was “What transition are you currently in?”
I want to make this a label question, and that says a lot. I place value on titles and achievements that can be stored inside italic biographies at the end of stories. But, I have no label.
Last year, reaching a level of Querying My Novel felt like the code to get in the door of the Writers’ Club. I felt acceptance I hadn’t felt before.
Taking the large step of stopping my queries and reassessing my work was damn hard. I had to admit my skills were not where they needed to be. I am having to hear “you aren’t good enough…yet.”
This leaves me a choice, a transition, and a maybe a transformation.
I could keep trying to push my way into the agent-pro world with what I have. I could say at parties, “Nope, not yet. I’m still sending out queries.” while knowing in my heart it’ll never take and if it does take, I’ll be suspect of that agent’s motive and eye.
I could quit. This could look like full-on never writing again. Wrap up the blog and the Patreon and the pages and burn it all down. Or, I could quit in a passive-aggressive way by writing lukewarm pablum and never looking up at the stars anymore.
I could swallow this bitter horse-pill, and try to learn what I need to grow as a writer. To get better tools in my kit. To say to people I admire, “I’ve had to go back and learn things I thought I knew, but didn’t.” Say it without crying. Say it with pride in my eyes and an arrow in my heart that reads, “Persevere.”
I know the “right” choice. I feel it, but it’s heavy and hard. What if I crawl on my hands and knees to the next bend, and there’s still no success? It’s still all path and no reward?
That’s where I am. A transition. I want to be good enough. I’m afraid I’ll never be.
Thanks for listening.