Why do we do this to ourselves? Put yourself out there and get knocked down? What for?
I am asking myself over and over why I do this writing thing? Sometimes the struggle gets too hard, and I want to quit.
I recently entered a contest. I took the plunge and sent my latest middle-grade novel out into the world. I felt good about it. I felt ready. Now, I feel regret and shame. Stupid.
My writing partner called me yesterday while she was driving home from the beach. She chose to spend time on her vacation to comfort me. “You are a great writer. Don’t let this stop you.”
Then she sent me an email she had gotten in response to her submission. Practically word for the word the same email I had received. How can someone honestly write the exact same feedback on two totally different pieces?
Instead of feeling relieved, I felt more confused. What is the point?
Everyday I guide my students to be better and better readers and writers. I would never consider giving each of them the exact same response. And yet, I ask them to “stay in the struggle.” I need to ask myself to do the same.
I’ll stay in it. For now. With the help of a strong writing community. With the help of friends like Melanie. She writes about this same thing here. Her reflection is different, of course, because we are different writers. We don’t deserve the same response. And neither do our students.