The hardest thing I’ll do today is set down this rejection and find the courage to write.
The rejection is unique this time. It’s on a postcard mailed in an envelope. It is, of course, a form letter… but the name of my book was written with a blue pen by a real person. Even I think it’s pathetic how the thought of a real person taking the time to write the name of my book on a postcard would be a point of cheer. But it is.
My day has already been a pile of suck. Depression is flirting with my brain, and the little voice inside that’s more of a bully than anyone from my childhood is telling me things… I’m wasting my time. I’m dreaming too big. I’m causing undue strain on my family and friends. Why can’t I just be happy with the nine-to-five like a normal fucking person? I’m a hack, and it’s time I accepted it.
I won’t believe you if you tell me it’s not true. You see, I think you’re just “trying to make me feel better” and the voice knows this. Of course you wouldn’t comfort me by telling me I suck. It’s so… logical. My bully uses logic to convince me, because it knows I can’t argue with logic.
I’d like to tell you I teetered on the edge of that dark hole of depression, and by the heroic effort of my will I pulled myself back from the brink. That I decided to fight it. But that’s not why I’m still writing. If I’m honest with myself that’s never really happened to me, even if I like to think I’m being heroic.
I’m here because I need to write. Maybe it is a waste of time, and maybe it’s bad writing, but it makes me feel like a human being. Writing is the same as lighting a candle in the bottom of that pit. It gives me something to focus on, something to embrace.
So why am I writing this, rather than another book or an angst-filled poem?
Because I know how close I sometimes come to not writing. Somewhere out there, someone is asking themselves the same questions I ask myself, and they’re deciding not to write. So I want to say to that person: Write.
This isn’t a motivational poster. Those are impossible for someone at this stage to aspire to. Those ideals are already out of reach for us. Write because you love it and it makes you feel better. It doesn’t matter if nobody else loves it. Write for yourself.