August 11, 2011

A random act of kindness

I am...a quitter. Always have been. I quit soccer at thirteen because I didn't want to run. I quit swimming a year later because the distance increased. I've been at my current job for five years and in my current house for six; both are MAJOR RECORDS for me.

And this is something I cannot stand about myself. I hate it, in fact, and struggle almost daily against my desire to cut and run as soon as goings get tough. Charles knows this and helps me out with most things, but still, it's an uphill battle.

So it's hard to imagine myself sticking through with this "writing thing" long enough to come out with a fully polished, interesting, engaging novel. To me, the fact that I've been doing this since November sort of means I'm doing something wrong. I should be done already! I was an overachiever in high school. Based on that, I should already have a movie deal, right?

But...that's now how it works in the grown up world, and I frequently have to remind myself of that. Ten months is barely any time to really focus on a writing career, particularly since the first few months were little more than an experiment.

But still. It's hard. I expected to be DONE with this by now. Either published (of course published! I know I'm special! *snicker, snicker*), or moving on to some random new project.

Yet I don't want to. I want to keep working on this story until I have it exactly right, even if it means another whole year of writing and editing in those late hours of the day when I'm exhausted and I want nothing more than to sit on my couch and stare blankly at the TV. My story and characters are in my head, and I think they'll be there until I get it right.

Which is why it meant quite a bit to me today when a girl at work randomly sent me a link, saying she hoped I'd find it helpful. I'm not typically into self-help or feel-good stuff (I'm writing about ZOMBIES, for goodness sake!!!!), but this made me feel...better. Good about my choices to stick with my story for now. To not move on to the next thing because just because I haven't exceeded my wildest dreams just yet.

So to return the favor to any reader who may be struggling with their own project, here's a quick post by Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, a bestseller which is now a major movie with Emma Stone (who I LOVE thanks to Zombieland), about exactly how long she struggled and how many times (60!!!) she was rejected while writing her novel. She put it best, I think:
The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.
So a big thanks to my coworker for an encouraging word and a random act of complete kindness.

No comments:

Post a Comment