I’m sitting at the kitchen table, my eyes staring blearily at an open document. The tea in my mug has become lukewarm and the passion in my belly is following suit. The idea that seemed so grand, so bold, so sure in the shower has been transferred into actual words and as I look at them I wonder if there’s anything actually worth reading. I edit a few sentences, tweak some paragraphs, delete words here and add others there. Still those thousand words sit there, entirely less perfect than I had envisioned, increasingly more vulnerable than I feel comfortable with. I down a few more sips of that no-longer-hot-tea and read over the words one last time. I hold my breath, copy and paste them into a google doc form, press submit, and close my laptop, exhaling as the proposal is no longer in my control.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. But, as adult-life often turns out, it is much harder to break into the writing world than I had envisioned as a ten-year-old writing fiction in my childhood bedroom. I thought I would be “discovered” by now. That a publisher would find my words on my blog, among the billions on the internet, and decide I was his next best-seller. That at least one of my posts would be viral by now. But that is not my reality. Most days being a writer feels like being an aspiring Broadway actor and a house realtor in an overpopulated market, flailing through auditions in front of stiff-faced judges and showing properties to picky buyers. There are a lot of words out there and to put mine alongside them isn’t as easy as I thought.
Two days before submitting this last proposal I received this email from an editor at another site: “Dear Greer, thank you for sharing your words with us. We don’t want them.” I’m sure it was written more politely than this, but this is how it feels when you spend hours of your precious life crafting words to share with others only to have them dismissed.
I didn’t feel motivated to sit back down and write another proposal. I didn’t feel worthy. I didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel like I had any sort of a chance…