This is why all writers are amazing-- whether pubbed, self-pubbed, or un-pubbed

Jan 14, 2014

There are a lot of ups and downs to being a writer. One minute, we're convinced we've written the next Harry Potter, and the next we want to bury the monstrosity we've created in the backyard. We have the thrill of completing a novel, and the struggle of revisions, and the excitement of submission, and the agony of rejection. We have the mind-blowing screaming moment of joy when we finish a book or get an offer of representation or a book deal or release our own book on Amazon, and then we have the crippling panic of writing the next book and being terrified we will never again be able to write something worth reading.

And sometimes we forget. We forget how far we've come. We forget how amazing we are.

My brother-in-law told me something over the holidays that I'll never forget. I'd announced my book deal to family, though I couldn't announce online yet because the contract wasn't final. Amidst all the congratulations and joy, my BIL said (and I paraphrase), "You know, this is so amazing. Nobody stood over you and told you to write every day, or made you keep going through all the rejections. This was all you, working hard and determined to reach your dream. And you did it."

Did you read that, people? Did you see yourself in it? I hope you did.

After he said that, I stood in the kitchen for a moment, dumbfounded and full of pride. Because he's right, and I'd forgotten it.

Did you know that as a teenager, I decided I would never write a novel? My plan was to stick to short stories, because a novel was hard. It was huge. It was impossible. And now, fifteen years later, I had forgotten that there was a time when I deemed something impossible and I had accomplished it. Several times, in fact. Because I worked hard and pushed through hard times and found joy in the good ones.

Four writers, all in different stages of our dreams, all amazing.
Congrats to Sara B. Larson on her book DEFY.
Every writer in the world is the same in a way. Whether pubbed, self-pubbed, or un-pubbed, we are astounding examples of tenacious hard workers, dreamers who are doing the impossible of actually trying to make their dreams come true.

We forget that. We focus on what we haven't yet accomplished-- we don't have an agent, or a book deal, or a number one slot on Amazon. We forget that there was a time when we didn't write. When it was too hard or we were too busy or we just hadn't ever thought about doing something so mind-boggling as attempting to communicate our souls through 300 pages of words.

Try not to forget that. Wherever you are in your pursuit of your dream, you did it yourself with no overlord but your own determination. And that makes you one of the rarest and most amazing people in the world.

So, my friends, what are your dreams? How far have you come? And if you don't mind, can you hop on over to congratulate a writer just like you whose book, THE GATHERING, comes out today? I'm so thrilled for Randy Lindsay!


Robin said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for reminding me. We write because we are determined, because we can't refuse the call to get that story from our brain to the page, and nobody makes us do it, but us.

I'm impressed your brother-in-law recognized the significance of what you've done. He must be a good one. And congrats again on your book deal!

My 8yo daughter just saw your picture and said your hair looks like Cinderella:)

Beth said...

Great post.

John said...

I'd never thought of it that way, but that's a very interesting thought!

Anonymous said...


And congrats on your book deal.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous post, Shallee <3

Haneen Ibrahim said...

hands down, the best post in 2014 so far, but definitely the best in January. And what your brother-in-law said to you gave me an Uh Ha moment. The writing community is the best in the world :D

mooderino said...

Well said. Also sounds like your sister has excellent taste in men.

Moody Writing

Lauren said...

Congrats on the book deal! Your BIL sounds like a smart guy. Great post.

Anonymous said...

I love this post! It's just what I needed. I'm writing a lot for a first draft right now and it's getting tedious, but I'm making my dreams come true. :)

September C. Fawkes said...

Great post and well said :D Yeah, sometimes we forget that.

Wendy Lu said...

Hi Shallee! Thank you for writing this post. Oftentimes, writers can feel like they're competing against each other and that they're very different from one another in style and other ways. Perhaps to some extent this is true, but your post is also a reminder of how much we're all alike - how we're all striving toward the same dream and how we're all hardworking. I hate to get "High School Musical" on you, but "we're all in this together!" :)

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

~Wendy Lu

The Red Angel

Kittie Howard said...

Great post! And CONGRATULATIONS on your book deal. Well-deserved! It's true that we're all in this together -- as similar as dreams may be, they're not, as stories inside each of us are different. . . and beg to get out with varying degrees of intensity.

And your BIL sounds like a great guy.

Anonymous said...

I love this post and reminder. But I'm one of those writers who are having a serious hard time seeing how far they've come (if they did). So... yeah...
But, great post regardless. :)


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