Being a writer is hard.
Being a struggling writer is even harder.
There are a lot of expectations. From everyone. No, seriously. It’s exhausting.
My students constantly ask me: “What do you write?”
When I tell them I write young adult fiction, their faces crinkle and say, “Ooookkk…” Kind of like this:
Then they ask, “Are you published?”
And I clasp my hands in prayer and say, “Not yet. But hopefully soon!”
Then there are friends and family who are constantly asking me how the querying process is going.
I tell them, “A few agents are reading my book!” Then I do a little prayer, because knock on wood.
Then they usually say something about self-publishing and I just cannot deal with self-publishing talk, so I mentally tune out and sing “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen to myself until I’m assured that they’re done.
So I smile and nod. Which usually prompts this reaction from them:
Because, after all, this is what everybody thinks writers do all day long (so what’s a little more judgment, amiright?):
Meanwhile, I teach five college courses, tutor, and somehow find the time to write and try to sell my book.
Yet I’m labeled a foolish dreamer, mostly because there are those who don’t quite understand what it takes to be published. Plus, these people generally tend to believe that I want this:
So that my life will pretty much consist of lots of this:
#TheStruggle, however, is #Real because JK Rowling is pretty much one in a billion.
So really, the life of this writer is more like this:
… Until an agent comes along and requests my work, and suddenly I’m on top of the world:
And I try not to get my hopes up, but I want them to choose me, so I unravel a bit inside with each passing day, waiting to hear back.
And when said agent dashes my hopes and dreams with a big fat rejection, life becomes a steaming pile of:
But I keep on writing and hoping and wishing and praying because THAT is what a writer’s life is truly like.
And pray that somebody gets us.
Because I’m NOT doing this:
What I’m actually doing is this:
… with words!