When I think about writing, I think it’s what I love most.
But sometimes I hate it. I face writer’s block, burnout, a lack of ideas, or a feeling of being stuck in a story or a character, not knowing how to pull it all together to get moving again.
In other words, I get insecure, and then I feel lost because writing is my anchor.
Since my sixth-grade year, I’ve known that writing is my passion, but in the last couple of years, I’ve realized that I’m not living up to that passion.
I’ve written six novels, dozens of short stories and hundreds of poems, and I write two blogs. Most of my work is unpublished. I’m aiming for traditional publication of my last two revised novels, both literary and character-driven, one young adult and the second adult. I’ve considered self-publishing, but will try the traditional route for now.
That’s not where I’ve got the lack. I’m querying agents, and I’ve compiled all the background materials. I’m also sending off my short stories and poems.
What I’m not doing is being courageous, the 100 percent, full-throttle kind.
I’m accepting, or making due with, my small dose of courage, but not the kind that’s allowing me to blare to the world that I have a great body of work. Even writing this makes me feel scared. I’m supposed to put on a brave front, right?
We all are.
I met Jennifer Tracy, a speaker and mentor, through my daytime writing job that serves as a way to expand my nonfiction writing and editing skills.
Jennifer’s business, Jennifer Tracy-Inspire, focuses on being courageous, overcoming adversity, making positive changes, having resiliency and becoming self-aware.
On her website, she has this quote, “Be inspired to change your life, regardless of where you are or what’s happened to you.” She says, “Look inward and find personal growth,” “Find courage to never give up,” “Discover power in self-awareness” and “Replace excuses with empowerment.”
When we met for coffee in June, I was amazed at her story and how she overcame a traumatic incident to rebuild her life, finding her own passions in the process. To me, she seemed happy and settled. She’d found her place in the world.
I sat across from her, keeping it all in, or most of it as I hinted to her about reeling from my own trauma. Trauma disrupts and causes a sense of loss that brings up those big life questions. It harms, hurts, dislodges, breaks, interrupts, and causes you to stagger. Who the heck am I? Who are you, world out there? Why did this happen to me?
What do I love?
Do I love?
Am I lovable?
What, why, how, who, where? Why? Why? Why?
I smiled at her. And I’ve been smiling as the tears slip through. I always thought I had it together, because I’ve always had my passion anchor.
After our meeting, I wrote in my journal: “I felt intrigued and a little more healed after talking with her. She said she’s learned a lot from her trauma and came up with self-talk methods, including a series of questions, all with the aim of being positive. What she said was so thoughtful and based on a lot of life experiences that it was hard to take it all in. I wish I could remember it all.”
I walked away from our talk—and wanting to meet her again—feeling like I need to let go, continue looking inward, and think about being positive, live being positive and bat away the negative.
I need to continue the slow hope and progression of finding and living out my passion.
And I need to be confident that I’ve written, love to write and am a writer no matter what happens in the world out there.
Shell’s Ink Services