Of Writing and a Fear of Failure…

I am under no impression that I am an expert at writing. I will readily admit to everyone that I am new to this world of writing and blogging, despite being an English teacher. I expected that it wouldn’t be as easy as I’d hoped it would be; Nothing in this world is ever as easy as it seems. I expected that I would have a rough time juggling the time consumption of writing and the strains of having three jobs. I thought I knew what was coming… for the most part. The one thing I never expected, though, were the words, “You should probably just stick to teaching”.

When I first decided that I wanted to become a writer and pursue my dreams of actually publishing a YA fantasy fiction novel, I was overjoyed. I was constantly thinking to myself, “THIS is where I belong! THIS is the path I know I am supposed to pursue! I WILL find my niche with this choice!” For the most part, just being a newcomer to this writing world, I already feel like I have found some kind of secret club that understands me like no one else ever has before. They understand my nerdy side and aren’t afraid to talk in public about having magical powers, sobbing hysterically over books, and killing off characters. I had found my people! 

So what’s the first thing you do when you decide you have found a new passion and possibly want to change your career? You tell your friends! My mom practically koala hugged me as she jumped on me and screamed in joy. “I always wanted to be a writer”, she had claimed, but never had the guts. She told me that it would be an amazing choice for me and that I would excel greatly in it. Confident in my new choice, I told my best friends who, also, proceeded to tell me that they were happy for me and would be more than willing to bounce ideas around and read any drafts I come up with.

Finally, I tell my other friends. You all know you I’m talking about: the people you see on a daily basis and talk to all the time, but don’t necessarily see  the friendship as “strong”. At first, they were cheering me on, “YEAH! GO FOR IT!”, “That would be awesome!”, “DO IT!” As I continued to talk to them about my dreams and plans, though, I very quickly felt a change of temperament towards my new found dreams. All of a sudden, “Are you really doing this?”, “Do you know how hard that’s going to be?”, “You’ll never be able to give up your day job if you want to write.”, and my personal favorite, “You should probably just stick to teaching and get a job”… 

Immediately, I went from steam coming out the ears, to doubt, to a depressed state of mind and kicking myself for thinking that it was even possible to be a professional writer. It took me three days of stewing their words around in my mind for the steam to finally come back. I was about to blow a gasket at how absolutely negative they were. I decided, then and there, that I would do everything in my power to PROVE THEM WRONG! SO WRONG that I would even dedicate my first published book to them and mail them a copy, just for good measure. That’s my personality, though. That’s how I’ve always pushed through rough times in my life. I face everyone who did me wrong or who didn’t believe in me head on and tell them “watch me“. Granted, that confidence, determination, and most likely boiling temper comes from a past of being bullied and yelled at and holding it all in, but that’s a story for another time. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

As I’m sitting here now, I realize that my friends who doubted me, they were right. I know that I honestly don’t know how hard it is going to be and the easier path to take would be to stick with teaching… but if writing is where my heart is taking me… why should I give that up just to take the supposedly “easier” path? The answer: I won’t. I won’t be giving up my dreams no matter how many people tell me “NO“, which will happen more times than I could ever possibly imagine. I won’t give up my dreams when my friends or family may not believe in me. I won’t give up my dreams when I get rejected by agents and publishers for many years. My dreams are like a fire spreading, igniting, erupting inside of me. I can’t let them go, not now, not ever. My realization for the day is that I now know that I am lucky to have hit this type of resistance so early on in my life because it will make it easier to deal with later on when I am beginning to achieve my dreams. Their resistance, and the resistance I am going to face will only fuel my fire to write more, to be more successful, to inspire more people to follow their dreams.

So, to finish this long blog entry off, I ask all of you, my lovely readers, to share with me, and with each other, your inspiration. What inspires all of you to keep going, to keep following your dreams despite all of the people that doubt you or say “no”? Share it with me in the comments. I’d love to talk to all of you about it and spread a little more joy and inspiration around the writing world. It seems that we, of all people, seem to need it most during this time.

With love, hope, and inspiration,

Kelly ❤

“Everything you’ve ever read, listened to, or watched was created by someone who was told their dreams weren’t worth pursuing.” – Lauren DStefano, Twitter @LaurenDeStefano, Author of The Chemical Garden series and the Internment Chronicles series

FEAR-OF-FAILURE-QUOTES

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9 thoughts on “Of Writing and a Fear of Failure…

  1. I write because I love how my brain works, coming up with theses whacky ideas. I write because it makes me happy. Writing everyday has changed me so much, I feel alive. I know that sounds cheesy but just do what you enjoy and keep doing it. Then if you feel you can take it to the next level, take it there.

    (Be afraid of the paper though, I have so many journals growing out of my ears.)

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    • I agree, Laura! I used to wonder how my favorite authors came up with these almost sick and twisted plots, killing off characters, and all sorts of other things to just make their novel work and to have their stories make sense in this completely imagined world. I always wanted to just spend a day in one of their brains to see what it was like in there! Haha, now that I’m in the planning stages of my own story, I’m sitting here wondering how screwed up or possibly brilliant my brain must be in order to come up with some of these characters, plots, worlds, etc.! It’s so much fun though! I absolutely love it and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I just sometimes wish that when I felt the urge to write, I’d be able to put my three other jobs on hold for a few hours or a day. =)

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  2. Oh we all have those “friends” that doubt everything we do. I’m so glad you’be taken the side of proving them wrong. I probably would have given in and quit. I’m definitely one that doesn’t necessarily need to please others, but they would put that in my mind and it would just make me second guess myself. Don’t you do that! You have such a passion for what you are trying to accomplish! Don’t let anyone take that from you.
    As far as my own dreams…I have no clue. I’ve been in this constant state of feeling kind of lost in that area. I loved working at a library and helping with all the children’s programming. I love helping keep that fire of loving to read alive because I feel it’s so important. I know I want to help kids and teens. I want to feel like I’m making a difference in their lives and helping them grow. I don’t feel I can do that in the way of teaching though. I still have a lot to figure out, which means at the moment my path is taking me to a small private daycare. I hope that helps me prioritize my life in ways working retail can’t. I’ll find it.
    Keep writing! I wish I felt the creativity to be a writer, but I feel like all of that was sucked out of me. But I love supporting those, like you, who have a passion and are trying to accomplish their goals. I can’t wait to read your first book, and the many more to follow!

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    • I believe that if it’s something you were truly passionate about, you wouldn’t have quit. =) You will find it! I’m still stumbling through all of this as well. Everyday I’m still sitting here questioning which way my life will take me and whether or not I will be truly happy doing all of this or just living the life that fate has given me. I do honestly believe in fate and a destiny, so I know that what I’m going through and what you are going through is something that’s meant to happen to guide us to the happiest solution. Have faith that life will lead you to where you need to be! Just don’t be afraid to pursue it with all of your passion once you find it! =)

      I used to think that all of my writing passion was sucked out of me too. However, once I got out of school for a few years and haven’t had to actually write a paper in a while, it’s a nice feeling to go back to actually writing what I WANT to write. It’s almost freeing! You will find your passion, be it writing, reading, teaching, day care, etc. You will find it!

      Thank you so much for your constant support. ❤

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  3. I write because I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s like the first time I got a cellphone. At first it was this cool thing I used once in a while, but after about a month I would attack someone with a butter knife on a dime if they even joked about taking it away from me. Writing is the one thing that I do that is just for me. I can take it anywhere. I can write anything. I can hit the delete key and start over and make my historical romance into a sci-fi horror space opera then break it down and build it back up again. I can make the voices in my head (character voices, nothing clinical – I hope) into real people with feelings and wants and needs. I can let them win or make them cry in the fetal position in a distant corner of hell. So … I guess you can say my writing inspiration comes from the thought that anything is possible as long as I’m willing to pick up a pen.

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    • That’s an extremely inspiring and uplifting thought. =) To actually have control over ANYTHING in this world and this life is something that should be cherished. Writing, as you have stated, is one of those things. You are completely right. I love your insight!!! Thank you for sharing!

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  4. I remember when I decided to purse my passion for Photography and pushing to be more with it. I use to be told oh you should stick to only family portraits… you cant make money doing that. But taking it step by step and year by year I think I can finally say I have accomplished a lot in the past 3-5 years. 2 years pushing myself through college and working 30 hrs a week part time. Followed by the 3 years after college to grow in the commerical industry, experiement and push myself to succeed. Now im about to add another thing to my accomplishments if the interview goes well.

    Over time there are people who will try to tear you down because you are a threat to them. There are people who will be scared for you because they know how much work you have to put into it, and like you said, Yes it is easier to stick with the 9-5 job and collect a consistent paycheck.

    But truely at the age you and I are. I think its more then that. Its more important now to just keep running forward, make those mistakes, and find your path. Its so much more now to take that journy and keep pushing, because in the long run you’ll find yourself where you are suppose to be.

    Its really the most fullfilling thing ever, and I know personally I wouldnt change it for the world.

    Dont hold back, let your creativty flow. There is always a way to make something happen in your life, just got to keep a promise to yourself to not give up. Even with failure, not giving up allows you to come back stronger than ever.

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    • I know you understand the struggle, especially the inner one that always debates on whether to keep fighting or not. There are plenty times per day that I am questioning myself and what I am doing, what I’m pursuing, and why everyone resists the idea so much. I will eventually find the way that is my path, though. I will get there!

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  5. Pingback: It’s Our 1 Year Blogiversary! *GIVEAWAY* | Live, Love, Read

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