Yesterday was a really rough day for me. And by rough I mean I was so emotionally exhausted, the only solution I could think of was ordering something cheesy and deep fried and biting chunks out of a chocolate dip that had solidified into a block over night.
I didn’t realize the mental strain and emotional stress it would take to become a writer- especially in the early stages when you’re trying to get published. The isolation and the self-doubt are constant struggles. I’m not sure people truly comprehend how difficult it is to commit to a ‘career’ and push on despite rejections. To work hours a day with no pay, recognition or validation or results. To be seen by society as simply a housewife ‘sitting at home’ because you don’t have a typical paying 9 to 5 job. To create and create then wait…and wait; only to be rejected, then feeling that maybe you’re just not good enough.You’re only fuel is your own determination, will power and belief in yourself and your work. But there are some days when you just exhaust your supply of self-love and positivity.
I’ve been trying various different ways to break into the industry- searching for an agent for my completed novel, researching for another, blogging, sending articles to Huffington Post, working with a friend to produce a children’s story book, trying to have more of a social media presence (those who know me will understand how difficult that last one is for me). All this while taking care of a one year old and living in a wasteland that makes it very difficult to function as a human being- but that’s a story for another day. It’s like I’m sending my work into space, into some void. And then I bite my nails as I wait for just a little indication that my voice is being heard. That some people are listening and interested in what I have to say. But for the most part you simply get-silence.
Not too long ago, I even decided to go down the advertising route. I thought maybe if I paid for a Facebook ad I would finally be able to reach like-minded people outside my own circle of friends. I needed something to amplify my voice so that more people could hear me.
When the first dozen likes came in I was very excited. But then when I checked my actual blog stats, I began to feel angry and cheated. The website was getting traffic, that’s true. But the vast majority of likes belonged to users mindlessly clicking with no real interest in my writing. This isn’t what I wanted and my motivation began to dwindle. But the next day, I just had to suck it up and try again. This is what it means to be a writer. You try and try and try and then…give up and self publish (that one was a joke- the giving up bit, not the self-publishing thing. Self-publishing can be a good option).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not miserable and pursuing my writing has given me a lot of fulfillment and happiness. But being ‘at home’ and writing with a baby isn’t an easy job and the struggle is very real people. It’s very real.