The Summer of the Never – Ending Existential Crisis


I feel like everything is in a state of constant “moment before the free-fall.” You know, feet haven’t totally left the ground/platform/whatever metaphorical hard-ground you want to picture me standing on, and I’m not spiraling down into a deep, dark abyss – not yet, anyway.

I’m stuck in the moment before the plunge. I’m suspended mid-air, not moving, and I’m aware that I’m not moving, but somehow everything else is soaring past me; the earth keeps rotating, the sun keeps shining, people are moving but I’m not. I’m teetering on the edge.

This summer was supposed to be MY summer. All of my hard work on my book was supposed to pay off. I was supposed to get an agent, but with each passing day, my whole “no news is good news/power of ONE” mantra that I’ve been writing about is turning into “no news is a rejection, and each rejection is turning me into a bitter old queen at 26.”

The first half of the summer was oddly productive. I started a new project and wrote 70 pages. I have so many ideas and I’m excited about it, but I’m just as excited about the book that I’m trying to get signed with. It’s my opus. And I feel like if I can’t get signed with this book, then how will I ever get signed? If I can’t make it as a writer, than what am I doing with my life? What is my life’s worth? Why am I here, if not to write?

Not the attitude to have, I know. But I can’t shake it. And the worst thing? It’s been preventing me from moving forward with my new project and writing new pages. I don’t want to query new agents because I don’t want to get more rejections.

I have the so-called thick skin needed to endure this process; I’ve been dealing with query rejections since January 2009, and none of them impacted me the way these last batch have (re: The Art of Subjectivity.) I think it has to do with the fact that I’m 100% certain that my book is great the way it is. The previous times I’ve queried, I knew what I was querying wasn’t 100%.

So the last two months have stung worse than usual and as a result I’ve been questioning everything I’ve ever known when it comes to my purpose and my creativity. Summer is usually my most creative season, and while that still holds true, this summer has brought with it more questions than anything else.

Where do I belong, if I don’t belong here?

Who am I if I’m not a writer?

Am I writer if I’m not successful?


  1. this is exactly what I’m going through career wise as well. I’m sorry you feel the same way, it’s so disheartening and it influences how you see everything…as well as your mood. I hope things get better for you Steve, from the writing I see on here you’re amazing and inspirational, and yet you say you don’t edit this. conclusion = there’s an astronomical chance your book is twice as awesome. never give up on yourself.

    1. I like those odds, Sara!!!

      Thank you for all of the encouragement you leave on here! It’s appreciated more than you know!

      Isn’t it nice to know that, as 20-somethings, we’re not alone in our feelings? I’m confident that things will get better…for both of us! 🙂


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