When is it appropriate to give up? Is giving up a dream ever the right choice? What would cause you to give up on something you’ve put significant time and effort into? I’m not talking about small things. For example, I gave up on being a ballerina because my heart wasn’t in it. I enjoyed dancing and performing that one recital I did, but it didn’t move me. I didn’t feel inspired by it. What I’m talking about is big dreams. Things you’ve wanted since you can remember, something you’ve invested a great chunk of your life in.
Can anyone guess what I’m getting at? If you guessed writing, you are correct. Here’s an oh so brief synopsis of the effort I’ve put into my writing: I started writing at a very young age. Think really little like 5 or 6 I think. I started writing stories about Cat and Dog. They were recurring characters in the “Cat & Dog” stories… imagine that. From the first time I made up a story to now I’ve been writing. I dabbled in angsty poetry in Middle and High School and wrote my first novel length fiction at 24. I’ve been actively pursing publication for about 6 years now with only one tiny nibble of interest. I feel as though I’ve put in a significant amount of effort for little return.
I think maybe I started too late. For one reason or another I never tried to publish anything in my younger years. I think that would have been a good first step, submitting some poetry or something to some teen writing publication. My creative writing teacher was always impressed with my work, so surely it would have been accepted. Then maybe I would have some publishing cred and editors/agents/interns would look more closely at my writing.
Some of you may be thinking, why is being published so important? Shouldn’t writing for yourself be enough if you do truly love writing? Well, yes and no.
If I write and write, who am I writing for? I don’t want to write just for myself. If that were fulfilling enough I wouldn’t have a blog and announce each time it’s updated on Facebook. I’m under the impression that my writing is smart and means something. So naturally I want my writing to reach people. I want people to read not only my blog but my stories. Because there’s some great messages in my stories as well. I want to entertain, I want to make people laugh and think and maybe even cry. I want to invoke the things I’m feeling in others.
Thing is, I feel like I’ve reached a point where there’s not a whole lot more I can do. Aside from spend hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars trying to self publish. The reason I shy away from that is because of the money. I have a child to think about after all I can’t go spending away his college tuition on publishing a book that, perhaps, no one will buy. So I’m stuck, sitting here, wondering what I’ve been doing for the last twenty five years of my life. Investing my time in these stories that sit on my computer, collecting virtual dust. But I don’t know if I could ever give it up. My heart is so deeply invested. If you know me well, you know that I can be fiercely loyal, if you get me on your side, I’m pretty much there to stay. It would take a catastrophic event for me to be ripped away. I don’t like giving up, especially when my heart is so entwined, and my identity so connected. I think if I gave up writing I would go off the deep end. Because who I am would be gone. I am a writer, to the very core.