A few blogs ago I shared a devastating rejection that made me question everything I’ve been doing to enhance my writing career, and that I’ve written, for the past year. I was so emotionally low that I didn’t even want to touch my laptop. It sat, closed and loosing charge, lonely and still, in my writing loft. I couldn’t even tell the people I loved the most about the rejection because I was so depressed and embarrassed.
When I finally did share the news with my husband and then my daughter, just saying the words out loud made me feel like an even bigger loser. All I felt like doing was wallowing. I admitted to my daughter that I thought the entire year had been wasted, that I was back to square one with no foreseeable chance of moving forward again. At 54 I felt like I was basically done and didn’t know if I had the energy or the desire to start over. Again.
Here’s the difference between a 54 year old and a 24 year old: perspective.
My daughter, in that clear and educated voice she uses on me when she likes to throw the stupid things I say back in my face, said, “So, the website you constructed, all the connections both personally and via the internet that you’ve made, the conferences you’ve gone to, the Twitter followers, your new Facebook friends, and the writing group you joined, have all been for nothing? None of that has been worthwhile or made a difference to you this year?”
“Well, no,” I admitted, sheepishly. “All those things have been wonderful.”
“So, tell me, again, exactly, how you’re back to square one?”
I’m so glad I had a daughter who loves me enough to tell me when I’m being an idiot. Who has the confidence to throw my own dumb words back in my face just to make me see them for what they really are. And for respecting me so much that she’s willing to show me the error of my ways.
I’d like to think when I was 24 I had the same kind of perspective, but I know I didn’t. At least at 54 I’m beginning to learn it. Let’s all hope by the time I’m published – and I will be! – it’ll be ingrained my my psyche.
Thanks, kid, for showing me the way.
2 responses to “Words of wisdom”
Hi Peggy, I can certainly empathize here, as can most other authors I know. In choosing a writing career, we have decided on a non-linear path, filled with twists and turns, potholes, and other setbacks. But, and a big BUT, we are not in a cave. At times, we may enter a dark tunnel, but there is an opening and light at the end of that tunnel. Joanne 🙂
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Joanne – that is so correct! This post was written right before my first book was contracted….so I guess there really are happy endings when all looks bleak!