Yesterday I read a blog post from the agent running the competition I’ve just entered. Shes’s received hundreds of submissions. I knew this would be the case but reading it in black and white I felt a moment of deflation. Hundreds. How in the world can I compete with that? How can I stand out amongst them? I hated the feeling that I might never be good enough.
Then today I read Jenny’s amazing post Struggling with Self-esteem and I didn’t feel quite so alone. Jenny talks about how she recently succumbed to the feeling of writer envy – when you see everyone around you having success and you wonder will it ever be your turn? I know this feeling all too well and it’s so easy to let it consume you and make you give up on your dream. That’s why I loved it when Jenny said one of the things she tells herself when she struggles with writer envy or a lack of self-esteem is to never give up on her dream.
I’m telling myself that now. There might be hundreds of other writers competing against me but this isn’t my last shot. I really hope I make it through but if I don’t I can’t let it hold me back. I should never give up on my dream. It feels like a mantra we should all say when we get up in the mornings. When we sit in front of our computers. When we see writers getting agents and deals. Because feeling envious is natural as is feeling impatient for our dream to come true but if we let the self-doubt in, we will never make it happen.
My lovely writer friend Anne Van taught me an invaluable lesson. Wherever we are on our writing journeys or to be honest wherever we are in life, nobody has it all. We may look on with envy at others but we all have something to bring to the table. Anne is a brilliant writer and recently landed herself an agent. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing this but she recently asked me for some advice on blogging. It amazed me that she needed my advice as she’s so far ahead of me on her writing journey. I envy her. But she taught me that I have something. I have a blog that people are reading. So when I worry about my book submission, I remind myself of this place. And that if I can be (reasonably!) successful in blogging, hopefully I can translate that into success in writing books.
I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m heading that way and I need to push myself forward and not hold myself back.
What I love so much about writing is the friends I’m making. Even if we do suffer from writer envy, I’ve found so many supportive people that want to help and that like to encourage. That’s invaluable. We are all going to struggle in life, writers or not, and we will all have moments where we feel we can’t do what we want to do and envy that those that are already there. But we have to remember they were like us once. No one in life gets off struggle-free. And the more we help each other, the more we can show each other that we can make our dreams come true. It will happen faster and easier to some but as long as we don’t give up, it will happen to us too.
“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”