The Army Behind Me

I’ve been busy working on LEVEL WITH ME, posting a chapter at a time to Wattpad, and I’m excited how it’s doing and that I’m nearly done with it. But that aside, I’ve actually been feeling a little blue.

And it’s not because of the weather..

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I got a rejection letter that cut super deep, stinging beyond the pale, and robbing me of my voice. It’s really hard to cry for help, too, when that happens.

I shed plenty of hot tears, lost a few nights of sleep, and haven’t been the same since.

Which isn’t fun.

On the brink of quitting, I wandered around for a few days. It didn’t help one bit when my six year old gave me this “letter”…

Sorry Note from Brooklyn

…or when my sweet heart told me that I was grieving, and that it was normal to be feeling all the feels. That just made it all the more difficult, I swear. Their hugs and patience with me as I mourned my own loss and struggled to find my footing is remarkable, and sends me spiraling. They put up with a lot, and I know they’re supportive of me, no matter which road I take with writing. They’re my first line of defense, and they are happy to protect me from anything.

But damn those writer friends of mine.

They’re less inclined to let me wander off. Instead, they’ve got their strings wrapped around me–strings I’ve allowed –and they started pulling right away when they saw me slipping.

Just weeks away from the First Chapter Contest for LDStorymakers16, I started getting hit up hard for help.

Help me?
Do you have a few minutes to look over my chapter?
You’re so good at this stuff–can you take a look at my first chapter?
I trust you–and I want your feedback.

I need you.

And lest you think I resent them, I don’t. Their words and questions pulled on those strings, lifting my lifeless body off the ground (or out of bed or off the couch as it were.) Stupid writer friends. They really know how to mend broken wings with words, and with each chapter that arrived in my inbox, my heart started to beat a little harder.

And I hate and love that there’s a country song for this, too.

 

So, now here I am, with a few Wattpadders dying for the last chapters of LEVEL WITH ME, and I’ve got a confirmation email that says I’m registered for Storymakers, and not one, but two story ideas are budding in my brain like tulips in spring. Not to mention that months ago I agreed to host a SE Idaho Writer’s Get Together at my house this week, wherein I would be preparing the food. Oh, and let’s not forget that I’m in charge of monthly writing meetings for our writing group and they’re counting on me, or the fact that I have writer friends waiting for me to give them feedback.

Even if I wanted to quit, they won’t let me. I can’t let me.  The pressure isn’t bad. It’s good. It’s helpful to feel needed. So while I may have taken a break from my own words, I’ve been pulled into the worlds my friends have created with theirs, and that feels good.

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Even though the tears haven’t flowed for a while now, I still feel the pain on the inside and question if what I’m doing is worth it, when after five years I have nothing published.

The only thing I really have to show for all my years of writing, aren’t things.

What I really have is an army of writer friends. Who totally get it.

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4 thoughts on “The Army Behind Me

  1. This is powerful in many ways. Thank you for sharing and always remember that just like you have an army behind you, you are part of the army behind others. I’d even bet that to some, you’re the only army they’ve got.
    Thanks for hanging in there and keep the army pressing ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t ever quit. Seriously, Gina. (You like what I did there, didn’t you.)
    You pulled me into a beautiful world of beautiful people and I can’t believe I went so long without having them.
    You have a powerful voice, and you know it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You summed up being a writer very well. It is a series of waves. You feel on top of the world one moment when a sentence snaps together, the symbols embedded in it highlighting your character’s faults and strengths perfectly. You make yourself laugh out loud when a character tells a joke you didn’t know was inside you until it trickled from your fingertips and onto the page. You then fall, like a brick made of compressed steel, when you see the weaknesses in your descriptions or someone jabs at you for using too many adverbs or a rejection tells you that the characters you think of as alive are really flat and pathetic wisps of smoke.

    Being a great writer is learning to ride the lows, burning them up as fuel to skyrocket back to another high. We can’t help falling. We will always slide down another crest into the trough of depression. Why? Because we’re writers and we feel damn hard. A well developed gift of empathy comes with being sensitive to critique and loss. It will never go away, but it does get better. You do learn to smile up at where you will be soon enough, especially when there are others along for the ride.

    Liked by 1 person

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