Posts Tagged ‘Publishing’

Maybe there is hope for me.

My God, I’m getting published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I thought I was a good writer most of the time. A decent writer that could spin a story and put together a sentence or two. My followers always kept me going up until recently. Finding out today that they are publishing my story in their next book made me feel like I’ve finally been pulled out of a really dark place that I knew I was in and was getting way too accustomed to it.

Call it whatever you want — I’m not a subscriber to most of the mental health chatter, bull shit, and self-diagnosis — but it’s been a long period of worry, anxiety and complete lack of joy or sunshine. On the outside, everything looked fine. I worked my 3 jobs as best as I could. Missing a day or two created more pressure on my shoulders, that were already weighed down with too much pressure, that I could barely move.

But move I did. Every day. All day. From one job to the next.

To create something that I loved, I would write. Becoming successful was vital but the more pressure I put on myself to do better, to be better, and to do more, the further down the rabbit hole I pushed myself.

I wrote to keep some semblance of sanity but then the pressure to write well and often turned my self-created solace into more anxiety, with a touch of self-loathing just for fun.

I knew if I read one more article about writing, I would explode. So I stayed away from my pad of paper and pen, stopped reading Medium and other blogs that I subscribe to, and just deleted any email to do anything with writing without reading it.

I’ve had become a bit of a hermit because every moment of every day had turned into how much money I still needed and didn’t have. Going out was not an option. The cost of housing and food and gas in Silicon Valley was pushing down on me and I didn’t see any way out. I couldn’t afford to go out, so I laid low. Really low. I stopped talking to most people, did my work, and would collapse on the bed as soon as I got home and managed to eat something for dinner.

It was the mental and physical exhaustion and numbness that made it almost impossible to think of anything to write. I didn’t want to work another moment after a 12 hour workday without any time off for weeks. I knew I needed to ease up, but it’s highly unlikely that my creditors would understand that I needed some time off and therefore couldn’t pay my bills.

Yeah….right…..that would be nice.

But then the email came this afternoon that they picked my story out of thousands to publish in their book in February.

I called my Mom and she cried.

I talked to my sister and she cried.

I cried from the relief and the ultimate pat on the back — Chicken Soup for the Soul picked me!

Me!

And oddly enough, just last night, I started to journal again. I wrote that I just need a bit of validation that I am good enough. Just a little something to get me to get back on it and stop whining.

And there it was.

I don’t have words of wisdom. The only thing I know is hard work and persistence and trying not to look back. That’s all I know. That’s the way I’ve always been.

Do your best.

Show up when you say you’re going to show up.

Do the work.

Fulfill your obligations.

Rinse and repeat.

My hope is that this gives me a launching pad to write well and more often. I’m excited to finally be included in a group of writers that I can talk with, share thoughts with, and maybe finally find a group that “gets” me and where I don’t feel like a 3rd wheel or the weirdo that writes and is broke.

A place where it’s OK to be me and know that I’m not the only writer out here, slugging it out and always alone.

Alone. That’s what gets me more than anything. No connection to another that finds who I am and what I do interesting.

I don’t want to be a stereotype or a cliche because I’m not.

We’re writers and we all need an acknowledgement, a sense of value and purpose.

Getting that email rekindled that purpose to write again. It’s exactly what I needed to get back on the saddle. It’s not in my nature to quit but sometimes you need to walk away in order to get perspective.

I think that’s something worth considering when you’re in a grind and nothing is working. Working harder isn’t always what’s needed.

Sometimes you need to just say “Fuck it” and go do something else.

I’ll be writing about this adventure as it progresses. Please follow this blog if you’d like to be notified as I post about it. I’d love to have you along for the journey.