Writing is hard.
If you're in any way involved with the publishing industry, that should come as no surprise. But it's also something we tend to forget. We talk about muses. We talk about those magical moments when the words flow endlessly and pages overflow with sentences. But the truth is, those come from practice. From sitting down, over and over, and filling empty pages.
It comes from pushing through when you'd rather stop. From reading and reading some more, both for pleasure and for study.
It comes from bravery, when we put those precious words of ours on display and get told "no" over and over and over.
It's so easy, as writers, to question ourselves. To wonder if our efforts are wasted.
Writing is hard on good days.
On the bad ones, it can feel impossible.
For me, that was the end of December. I'd just finished Pitch Wars--one of the most amazing experiences of my writing career. The details for that are for another post, but I'm forever grateful for the chance to participate in such a wonderful contest, and for the amazing people it connected me with.
One of those amazing people is my agent, whom I was lucky enough to choose after two very stressful weeks and multiple offers of representation (I would've been thrilled to work with any of those agents!) I signed in November, and by December, I had my list of revisions.
I'd worked years to get to that point, and I couldn't wait to get started. Couldn't wait to move onto that next step.
And then, the day before my birthday, four days before Christmas, my brother passed away.
The days that followed were a blur of announcements and arrangements. The holidays a twisted mix of celebration that felt only half-true. And even now, months later, it's not something I can face head-on. It exists in the periphery, until I brush against it, little slivers of grief that get processed in pieces, because the whole of it is too much. Too heavy.
Writing was impossible.
Except, writing is always a little bit impossible. And the only way out is through.
For me, the way out was when I finally decided if/WHEN my debut is published, I'd dedicate it to my brother.
The day I decided exactly what that dedication would say, I started writing again.
Here's another truth: for so many of us, writing and reading have always been the way out.
Words have power, and not just to those on the receiving end.
Writing always feels better than not writing. (Credit to one of my fabulous Pitch Wars mentors, Annette Christie for that bit of wisdom!)
We wake up and willingly subject ourselves to the crazy and often-frustrating publishing journey for a reason. Because we love it. Because we have something to say. Because words have power to give hope, to heal, to teach, and to enlighten.
No matter where any of us are on our journeys, all of our words matter the same.
Writing is hard.
Sometimes it's impossible.
But it's always worth it.