The sun came out today. I almost didn’t recognize it. My eyes watered and my heart pounded. It was rather like reuniting with a lost lover and feeling those first tender caresses. It reignited in me a passion that has been missing for a while now. I let my head fall back and reveled in the warmth. And then I swallowed a bug.
I had on my calendar that I was supposed to write a poem today, to search in quest of words that moved me and emotions that cannot be controlled.
The new year has been turbulent for me. Lots of brilliant moments followed by the gulping of insects. Thus far I have survived scathing critiques of some of my writing and thrilled to the praise of others. One of the agents reviewing my work sent her politely worded rejection letter on the same day I got my first acceptance offer into a master’s program. Moments of intense excitement interspersed with periods of loneliness and heartbreak. So, instead of poetry, I’m going to talk about the realities of being a writer, and about my positivity box.
As a writer, this is ever constant, even when we are surrounded by people. When vivid worlds exist in your head and you love people who aren’t tangible, you are bound to feel those twangs. The act of writing itself is solitary. Until those words are on paper, we must fight with them alone.
Time and Money
I have this dream. In it I am rich beyond my means and I can spend all day lost in my writing or in a book. There’s also a personal chef and someone who folds my laundry for me. When I think about my writing though, the reality is that there is never enough time for all of my ideas. My true goal is just to be taken seriously, to write my heart out, and to find a few people who like what I have to say. The money would be awesome, but it isn’t a reality for most writers.
No matter how good you get, there will always be people who don’t like your work. It is art, and it’s subjective. As a writer, you have to write what your soul demands and deal with the negativity later.
My positivity box is a little trick I keep stored away for days when the downsides to writing get to me and I feel those little demons of insecurity eating at me. It is a drawer where I tuck away little reminders of why I am doing what I am doing. Sometimes it is an article that speaks to me, at others it is a note from a friend or critique partner about how much they liked my writing. Today it was a letter from one of the universities that I applied to, offering me a scholarship and siting exactly what it was about my writing sample that earned me the award.
What is in your positivity box?