I am very lucky. The first poem I ever wrote was nominated by my teachers to go in an anthology of fifth grade poetry. The first short story I ever wrote with the intent to submit won $100 in a contest. I was accepted before I was ever rejected so I started out knowing I had at least some talent, someone out there who thought I could make this writing thing happen (besides my mom, who is amazing and honest, but she's also my mom).
I've spent too much of this past year feeling discouraged because, while my short stories usually find a good home, my longer work has so far only been accepted by small publishers who work mainly in the ebook/Amazon world and require a hefty amount of self-promotion which has resulted in a very minimal profit margin.
I want an agent. I want Harlequin. I want to go into my local bookstore and see my book on the shelf. I want to do book signings. I want to contribute to my household income through doing what I love. I know what I want, I'm making the effort, and I'm tired of waiting.
But I forget that I'm lucky. I'm twenty-four and I have 22 writing credits to my name, plus 20 writing credits to my legal name. That's 42 writing credits in just five years. That's really amazing.
This morning, I stumbled upon the website Literary Rejections, which has reminded me that there are plenty of aspiring authors (a category in which I still include myself) who would kill for just a sliver of the encouragement I've had.
I need to remember that everything happens in its own time. As long as I keep writing because I love to write, as long as I don't rush my work, as long as this desire burns, I'll get there. Eventually. And eventually is okay because the thing about dreams is they'll wait for you. They'll wait an entire lifetime for you to catch up to them.
And no matter how many roadblocks, detours, and distractions I run into along the way, I'm sure as hell getting there.