It was a post that poured out from me as I sit in this weird place of limbo, waiting for the final few on my last novel, and brainstorming a new series for my next round of submissions. Honestly, I revert back every other week and think I need a writer's break. Hence, the few blogposts here. It's just been a bit of a soul-searching time of why I want to be on this journey, and how I balance it with life.
It is a vicious cycle, but writing is too ingrained in my heart to abandon it.
Anyway, I wanted share my words from my guest post. Whether you are a writer or not, I think everyone might find something from this post. So, moms, writers, readers, and passerbys, enjoy.
Over the past few years, I have understood the nature of hope, especially as an aspiring author. It's a funny thing—hope. It's an energy that might swell like a swollen ocean at one moment, or dissolve into a flimsy fragment that slips between your grasping fingers the next. Hope is ever-changing, and mostly, ever-present. And this ebb and flow is good, because it pushes us toward a dream, or calms us in the midst of a storm.
During this writing journey, there have been a few times that I have felt hope vanish completely, only to realize it was hiding out around the next bend. It was still there. And the only way I could grasp it again was by moving forward. Taking those steps and finding my way toward it. Getting past the finite disappointment of this journey's pot holes, and remembering hope is infinite, as the good Martin Luther King Jr. once declared,
It's difficult to accept and get past the disappointment, isn't it? The disappointment overwhelms me after writing that story that just misses the market, the one that I felt sure that God had placed on my heart and knew it was meant to be written. The shadow of a rejection chases my hope around the bend, leaving me breathless and unable to search for it again.
What is the point of all those words, all that time? I don't want to accept it.
The finite disappointment arrives in the sting of criticism, the harsh reality that I have a huge amount of work ahead of me, and I'll lose sight of the hope that flickers from beneath the effort needed. I grow weary and defeated.
What is the point of wasting the energy now, after so much energy has been spent?
Sometimes, I feel so completely hopeless that I wonder if it's this writing journey has come to an end. But, it's when I look back at all that I've learned, and then step forward toward that next bend, that I discover that pesky hope again, and all is not lost.
Have you bought into the lie that once hope is out of sight, the journey is over? If this writing journey is truly ours, then our hope is infinite in what the future might hold for our words.
If you are anything like me, clinging to hope, whether it be a kind word, a contest win, or a coveted request for a full manuscript, keeps me going forward no matter how small a glimmer.
Hope is infinite.
I look back on my ten year journey as an author and I don't just see baby steps and lessons, heartaches and rejections, friendships and business ventures, but I see a path chiseled and defined by that infinite hope. It's the fact that I got to that next page, the effort a friend took to critique my work as if it had potential, the agent taking a chance and adding me to her client list. It's the click in my brain when harsh contest feedback actually makes sense and pushes my story to a new level. It's the editor, who had turned down my book, and then decides to pick it up again and give it another chance (true story).
I may not have arrived to the place where hope turns into that bright shiny future of publication that I expect, but I see hope all around me, and whether it growing bigger and brighter, or slips just around the bend, I am confident it is waiting for me to catch up.
What more could a writer ask for, than hope?
* MLK quote photo from Brainyquote.com.