I often write words that I wish someone else would say to me.
And I desperately need someone to say these words to me now. But there is no one, so I will say them to myself and you, in case you need to hear them too:
Today I didn’t feel like my best self. I lied on my friend’s couch for hours wallowing in self-pity because a writing opportunity that I really wanted seemed so out of my range.
I don’t have the right samples.
My story is not intriguing enough.
These people have been doing it for years.
I haven’t even updated my portfolio.
So I went for a walk instead, sheepishly, with my head down.
Then it daunted on me:
There will always MORE reasons to QUIT than to keep going.
And in some odd way, this truth was liberating to me.
Because what it means is that we will always have more bad days.
We’ll always have more doubts.
And we’ll always want to quit.
But it’s also always NORMAL.
Just look it up.
Even the best writers have crappy days.
Once I got a standard rejection from a dream publication.
Then, A YEAR LATER, the editor wrote me: “I still think about your story, is there any way you could resent it?”
So I resent it!
He wrote back and said, “Oh, now I remember why we rejected it.”
— Sarah Aswell (@sarahaswell) August 17, 2018
Even the best artists make mistakes (and turn them into art.)
Even the best have shitty days.
And it doesn’t mean what you think:
I’m not good enough.
I should stop.
I don’t have what it takes.
All of these thoughts mean NOTHING except that you’re having a bad day.
So take a shower.
Buy yourself a treat.
Go for a walk.
Complain to a friend.
And then remember this:
If you choose to keep going,
to keep making art,
to keep doing what you like,
then you’re also choosing what’s less likely.
It means you’re defying the odds.