|Photo from Flickr - redcargurl|
Back in December, I shared Jodi Picoult's essay "To My 16-year-old Self." I read it again this morning for some inspiration...mainly because I am contemplating a significant change in my life that hinges upon my writing. It got me thinking about composing a letter to my writer self, and I think I am going to make this an annual thing.
Too many times you've stepped away from your writing out of fear. Even when you've had friends and an incredible mentor encouraging you. Even now you wish you could get all that time back. But you can't.
What you can do is focus on today. What can you do today? And what will you do tomorrow? Are you reading not just for fun but to improve your craft? Are you writing even when you don't feel like writing? Are you submitting even though your hand still shakes a little before finally clicking on that "send" or "submit" button? You should be. You'd better be. Because if you aren't, you already know you're going to regret it.
Remember that quote by Paulo Coelho you have etched inside all your journals? "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams..." Yes, you've written and read it enough that it should be etched in your mind every day.
You've already done so much in a year. You can't stop now. You're barely picking up steam.
Don't let this be something you relate to later on in life: "An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's existence." - Honore de Balzac.
Write, write, then write some more. Read, edit, read, edit, and then write some more. You can do it. One word at a time. With everyone believing in you, you can't not believe in yourself.
What would you tell your writer self?