Living the Writing Dream, by Guest Blogger Susan Sosbe

Hello all, Michy here first. I’m writing this to you from stormy Galveston area, where we had a fantastic thunder and lightning storm last night. It was so beautiful. I still have not managed to make it out to get sushi, but we’re going soon! I’ve been having a good time, sleeping later than usual, got to lounge in the pool yesterday, and having fun with the mutt (yes, we brought the dog with us!)

Right now, I’m sitting here on the couch and thinking about whether I want to get up and move or not. Until I decide, I guess I should start with an apology to Susan, because I had said on Thursday I would have her post up the following day, and that was like three or four days ago. Ooops.

Michy goes on vacation and leaves her brain at home!

Seriously, the truth is, my computer decided it didn’t want to boot for me, so between travel and computers and mushy brains and thoughts of sushi, Michy was bad and didn’t post Susan’s blog.

I will correct that now. Susan was speaking to me about how difficult the job of freelance writing is, especially in the beginning, when you have no clips, are getting rejection after rejection, only negative feedback and not a lot of positive, and you are wondering if you’ll ever make any real money at this crazy thing called writing.

The post she made below I am sharing with you because I have a feeling some of you have thought the same things before too. This post of hers was an ‘assignment’ I gave her, and I think she re-connected to that part of her that remembers why she writes in the first place.

Remember, when you are feeling your worst, reconnect to that part of you that writes for the love of writing, find the passion, and let the words flow from that place – that place where rejections don’t matter, where you know you would write always, even if you never made a penny at it.

Let’s see what Susan had to say to us:

Living the Dream

Who was I kidding? I wasn’t a writer. At least I wasn’t the kind of writer that people wanted to read…or buy.

I felt like I was pretending to be something I wasn’t. I felt like I was bobbing along in an endless see of disappointment with no hope of ever reaching the shores of where I wanted to be.

I didn’t expect the writer’s life to be like this. I wasn’t sure what I really expected, but I know what I was hoping for and it didn’t include the multitude of rejections that gathered in my inbox or my mailbox. I knew there would be rejections, I just didn’t know there would be so many.

Did what I had to say interest no one? Was my writing really that bad? Was I really cut out to do this?

Each rejecion I received was a devastating blow.

“Chin up. That means you’re one step closer to being published,” they told me.

But I didn’t feel any closer. If anything, I felt even further away. At least before I submitted each piece, I had hope. I needed that hope to follow my dreams. Dreams without hope were just wishes.

Once upon a time, I felt like every step I took was leading me closer to fulfilling my dream. Even as it was happening, I could see the universe working its magic on my life.

Knock, knock…there’s an opportunity.

Six short months ago I was chomping at the bit to quit my full-time job to commit to freelance writing. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. So I couldn’t understand why fate would bring me so close to my dream only to slam the door in my face and tell me no.

I was ready to give up.

How Bad Do You Want It?

I got in touch with Michy and told her how I was feeling. As I sat there on Instant Message with her, I had tears streaming down my face as I told her I was going to give up.

“Write me an article about how you’re feeling right now,” she told me. “Then finish with reasons why you know you need to keep trying.”

Keep trying? I could handle the first part. I could go on and on about how each rejection I received sent me spiraling even further down into a pit of discouragement. But how was I going to handle the “keep trying” part? What could I say?

As I prepared dinner that night, I thought about what I would write. I had my notebook close by and as a thought would pop into my head, I wrote it down. And I thought, Why do I want to keep going? Why do I want to keep putting myself out there?

And then I heard the voice. You know…that voice that whispers in the back of your mind?

It said, “How bad do you want it?”

I’ve been around long enough to know that there are a lot of people in this world who want to be a writer. I’ve also been around long enough to know that not everyone is going to make it. I think what sets them apart the most is their determination to succeed.

Did I have that determination?

As unlikely as it may sound, my answer was yes. Oh, it obviously wasn’t in an easily accessible place. After all, I was ready to give up just a short while before that. No, I had to reach down deep to find it.

But it was still there.

I Believe in You

A couple weeks ago, my mother asked me how the writing was going. When I told her it was chock full of rejections, she was quiet for moment. Then she said, “You can do it. I believe in you.”

My mother knows me as well as anyone. There have been many times in my life where she has known me far better than I have known myself.

And she believed in me.

As much as I needed to hear that, I knew that the real question was did I believe in myself? Did I really think I had what it took to be a writer?

Honestly? I don’t know.

But I do know that I’m never going to find out by giving up. When you give up your dream, you have nothing left.

So I will continue on this path and I will keep my hope and determination close to my side as traveling companions.

I will live my dream. Not someday, but now. Even if the now is full of rejection, I’m still living the dream. I realized that it’s all a part of it. I may never be one of those writers who beams with pride at a rejection. But I can still be a writer who tried.

I can still be…a writer.

My mind has traveled a path
No one will ever see,
This path is mine and mine alone
It starts and ends with me.

My feet have walked this path
This path that’s meant for me.
They’ve walked the stones and hills and dales
That only I could see.

My tears have stained this path,
These tears were shed by me.
With heavy heart and joys unknown,
These tears were shed by me.

My heart has known this path
In times I could not see,
It sang its song and held me strong
To follow its melody.

And as I travel this path,
This path that’s meant for me,
In perfect love and perfect trust
I will follow eternally.

Susan Sosbe freelances part time from her home in Indiana. She has written over a hundred articles online and hopes to break into the world of print publications soon. She shares her home with her significant other, two sons and her dog. You can read more of her writings by clicking here.