Monday, July 26, 2010

What would you do?


The other day, I was on the phone with a family member, catching up and sharing our latest hearsays, when they asked me something, "So, I hear you want to be a writer?"

The words caught me off guard, not exactly because of what was said, but more like how it was said. The tone was skeptical, bordering the line of judgmental.

I sucked in a gulp of air, cleared my throat, and answered, "Yes, yes I want to write."

"Oh, well, yeah," was the response on the other side of the phone. I furrowed my brows, bit my lip, and waited—just waited.

"Being a writer is, well, pretty hard, do you really think you can actually get published?"

I stiffened at the sound of the words, the shock clearly written on my creased forehead. I didn't know what to say. Do I answer? Do I hang up?

And then my hands touched the glass vial necklace around my neck—the one that holds a special message inside, a message between Drake—My MC—and I. My fingers curved around the silky glass, my nails clashing against the edges desperately.

Its cold touch quieted my breathing. My mind began to wander.

My eyes became distant as I lost myself in my thoughts.

"I'll call you back," I barely whispered and I hung up.

Like an earthquake, a scene shook me...

The road ahead was dim, vacant, and protracted—I couldn’t see where it ended, if it ended. Colossal trees crouched over the road, their branches covered with a full skirt of leaves, deep green dripping down from them. Tiny, barely noticeable stars were plotted in the sky by an unseen hand so stunning. I gaped in utter awe.

Distant, steady footsteps trailed closer to me, their soft echo spilling peace all over me. I closed my eyes and listened to those footsteps, memorized how many steps were taken, the seconds in between each step.

And then I opened my eyes. Drake’s face was so close; his full lashes curled over his heavy lids, his mouth slightly open, softening his strong jaw. I stared at him, watched him watch me with careful attention.

He held out his hand to me, the side of his lip rising, making his high cheek bones reach his eyes. I put my hand in his hand.

His voice was clear, melodic. I listened to his words; listened to each sentence. The rise and fall in the sound of his voice controlled the rhythm of my heart. His hand tightened around mine, and he whispered the exact same message from the glass vial—my promise to him; his promise to me; our promise.

Together we stared down the long road, side by side, under the crouching branches and the plotted stars.

“The road is long, we don’t know where it ends, but I’ll walk with you, if you walk with me,” he said and took that very first step into the unknown.

I eyed the phone then, and without thinking I called my family member back.

"Hello?" Their voice sounded unsure.

"I don't know," I said, straightening my shoulders.

"You don't know what?"

"I don't know if I will ever be published, but I do know this," I sucked in a deep breath, my hand still around the necklace.

"I want to write, and yes, I will write."

I hung up again. Everything went strangely still, the moment like a vigilant light inside of me. I knew then, more than ever, how much I wanted to write.

How much Drake meant to me.

And no one could ever take this away from me, take him away.

People can put us down, question what we love, but they can't strip us of that love.

That is ours to keep forever.

Bloggers, Has anyone ever doubted you? How did you handle it? What did you say?


Maybe someday I will have it all figured out, know which road to take, but until then, I have to keep breathing, continue on living- Drake

35 comments:

  1. I think as writers we are often doubted or told that they too have always wanted to write but never have the time. Treating us as if we were never meant to be successful, have too much time on our hands. I figure it's best to let it go, tell them that you are indeed a writer, to stay strong because when that day comes that you are published they'll have only themselves to blame for not having more faith in you!

    Thanks for the description of my character!!! I'll post a picture of her later this week :)

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  2. I love what you said on the phone. Writing is not about where it leads us. it is about that need inside to fill the purpose of our life. If that is writing for you, then go for it and never let anyone take it from you. I came to your blog from Jody's. Glad I found you.
    Oh and your comment on Jody's blog, I agree. I think you do write from your heart :)

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  3. So true, Victoria! People aren't going to always understand why we're writing. But if we love it and are passionate about it, then that's really what matters!

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  4. I posted something in a similar vain to this. About if nonwriters will get our lives or not. Great response!

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  5. I think the hardest part of hearing others doubt us is that it reaches out and mingles with our own self doubt that hangs over us every day. I swallow it down and reply confidently that I've written two book and am currently querying agents. Yes, its hard. Yes, its long. But I'm dedicated and hope to get there some day. They usually wish me the best.

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  6. I think there are so many would-be writers out there that would like to be a writer, but don't want to do the work to get there, so they doubt others who are doing the work. If you let them get inside your head, it can wreak havoc. I am so proud that you hung up and re-centered yourself. That probably would not have occurred to me to do.

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  7. You're a writer. I think the thing is, if we REALLY think about it, writing is the reward. Not being published or going to booksignings or seeing our name on the cover of a book. All of that is wonderful, but it all comes down to the work you put in, day after day, and the characters that create...the stories you craft. If the world as we knew it came to an end tomorrow and there were no publishing industry...but you were still here...would you still write, knowing nobody would ever read it? THAT is a writer.

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  8. I think I doubt myself more than others doubt me. But you are so right. Writing is so much more than publishing. It's fun having the chance to create people and places and control their destinies.

    And publishing is tough, but that doesn't mean we can't make it happen.

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  9. Hi Victoria. I keep seeing your comments on all the blogs I follow so I thought I would visit yours and become your newest follower.

    Nice to meet ya!

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  10. I don't talk about it with anyone besides writing friends. Other people just don't get it. In the end, I doubt myself enough. I don't need to add others to that mix.

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  11. I've been there Victoria! I usually avoid he topic but if it comes up I do my best to deal with the 'situation', lol. It's never easy. Unless of course your Stephen King..

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  12. Yes! This is so true for so many of us. I'm going on five years now and sometimes I begin to doubt myself, nevermind the worry about what other people think of me.

    We just have to perservere and follow our dreams. Because when we truly are writers, we can't give it up anyway. Roll with it! :o)

    I'm glad I stumbled across your blog!

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  13. This is a very special moment. People doubt all the time when they find out I want to be a writer. They have even gone as far as to ask me if I write good enough to be published. My answer 'I don't know, we'll see.' But it doesn't matter.

    We don't want to be writers, we already are writers. As long as we follow our hearts and are true to our characters then we can do no wrong, published or not.

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  14. Hi Victoria,
    I came over here from Helen Ginger's blog and am so glad I did. I've been blogging about a similar issue and what everyone said here is so true. My own self-doubt can hamper me more than anything anyone else can say, but it is easily triggred by others. All I can do is remember that in order for my soul to thrive, I need to write - it helps me make sense of my world. Just keep on keeping on...
    Karen

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  15. Victoria, came back over to tell you I gave you an award today.

    http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/2010/07/being-versatile.html

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  16. I made a point of not telling anyone except immediate family I was writing science fiction books. After completeing a dozen book series, and acceptence from a publisher, and articles in newspapers, I finally let the secret out of the bag to those who had not noticed my peculiar habit of carrying notes lol.

    But that skeptical tone you mentioned does not stop after publication, so I let others start the conversation about my writing. Even though your writing project is very important to you, to others it is just a curiousity. Don't get mad.

    Another interesting phenomenon is that close family members and friends resist reading what you have written. Spouces won't help with proof reading, etc. My America's Galactic Foreign Legion series has two books published, a third due out in August, sales are a modest 5 to 10 E-books a day plus paperback sales, and my closest loved ones won't read it. Go figure.

    I think they are afraid of the awkwardness if they don't like it. No problem. Your writing should not push loved ones away. So, don't hang up, just change the conversation.

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  17. Carrie @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

    Hi, Victoria! I stumbled upon your blog and totally connected with your topic. Im a writer...feverishly working on my first book. Just got home from a writers conference where I heard repeatedly, "expect rejection". I know it will come, but I am determined with a mind of steel to press on until I find the ONE publisher that falls in love with my book and me. It may take years, but I have promised myself not to self-publish, but to hold out for the right time and publisher. God is perfectly in control and His timing and will are best.

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  18. I told someone who should have supported me and he said, "you should become a journalist then."
    RAWR! No, I want to creative write. He didn't get it. But when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter. I have to follow my heart. You too :)

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  19. I don't tell a lot of people that I write- it really takes too long to explain the whole process to them. They always want to know why my books aren't on the shelves yet.

    Sigh.

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  20. All of your responses have opened my eyes and given me a new turn on things.

    Thanks!

    And remember, we're all writers, no matter what anyone says.

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  21. Well first of all family and friends often have no clue. It is quite clear to me that you are one damn good writer. That was a powerful scene!

    Of course talent is often not enough. It takes a lot of time and hard work to get published (or so I hear) but as long as you don't give up I'm confident you'll get there.

    I try not to let people know I write unless I know them very well or they are also writers. It tends to lead to awkward silences otherwise.

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  22. So funny that you wrote about this...I just covered this topic last Saturday--but more on the topic of friends finding your blog than on the actual questioning of your success.

    Sometimes I wish no one knew. But then, to whom would I be accountable? It's nice to know there is a support system out there if I want it, and a guilt system there as well!

    Thanks for finding my blog...So glad I finally clicked over to yours!

    Michele
    Southern City Mysteries

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  23. Oh- I love your 'Reading Recommendations' tab. Can I copy that idea?

    Michele
    Southern City Mysteries

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  24. Michelle- Sure! And thanks for stopping by

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  25. Great message with your post.

    I try to use the doubter comments as motivation--like when a coach yelled something negative to me in sports that I could replay the incident in my mind to push myself.

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  26. Yeah, there have been doubters. For me, they're more like discouragers. But it's not about them, is it? I keep doing what I'm doing and let them waste their energy on doubting and not let it bother me.
    Great post!
    Love the Pixies song, btw.
    :)

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  27. This post is so relevant because as bloggers we are "different" . Think about it. Why do we put so much energy into writing? Because it's who we are. It's for the love. Please follow the link I will send you it's on the topic of "writing" and it will change your life. I promise! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbuatcBm75o&feature=related
    P.S 100 + points for the Pixies intro.

    P.S.S 50 points for Voices Carry.

    P.S.S 10 points if you follow my blog.

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  28. If anyone doubts you..They should read this. Even your phone conversations read like a story.

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  29. Yep - I've heard it before. In fact, my Dad didn't want me to major in English because "What would I do with it?" Um... write??? I just dismiss all of those people and move on to those who are fighting for the same thing I am - to be a published author. :)

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  30. I haven't run into too many doubters, but that's because I don't broadcast to everyone that I write--I only share that with readers and writers, and a few people who are close to me. I've been in some negative critique groups, but I left due to the unprofessionalism. I never doubted myself; it's sad that some people would want to induce that feeling.

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  31. I like to follow writer’s blogs as I feel I learn from each one. I have a book of Communion devotionals at the printers which I authored, although I don’t consider myself an accomplished writer. I am a follower on your blog and invite you to follow mine as well…and please leave a comment when and if you visit.

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  32. There will always be doubters out there, just never let them get to you. If you want to write, then write. You are doing it for you, after all and no one else. If it gets published, great! If not, you'll still have a beautiful story that YOU wrote. No one can ever take that away.

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  33. I'm also an aspiring writer. I appreciate your honesty and transparency.

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  34. Even though I'm almost a month after you posted this, I couldn't resist commenting and telling you how much I needed to read/hear this today...to be reminded that what others think I am doesn't matter as much as what I know I am. I'm a writer.

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  35. Linked here from T.Anne's.

    Good answer to your family member. Yes, they are right, writing is difficult and frustrating. Others may not share our dreams or see the value of them. But these may be the very reason to keep on writing and not let anyone squash our dreams. Ulitmately, it matters that we be true to who we are. Keep on writing!

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