I've been writing for decades. Writing for publication for one-and-a-half of those decades.
I've had some significant high points in writing for publication. And even a few welcome surprises.
I won an award at a writers' conference. I've seen my stories published in parenting magazines across the country. I still sell the occasional reprint. Years ago, I had a column run in my local paper. (i loved writing locally, by the way!) I stumbled my way into journalism. I've met and interviewed accomplished and best-selling authors. Writing has even opened one or two doors to (gulp) public speaking.
Then there are the low points.
The rejections. The "no replies" from editors. The waiting to hear back after submissions. The hoping for good news but really just want any news to indicate that the submission was read. The ultimate let down for me was making it to the final stage for a Chicken Soup title, signing a contract with them, only to not make the final cut.
It was like a roller-coaster s-l-o-w-l-y climbing straight to the highest spot on the ride, where all you can see is the sky, a brief pause once there, and then barreling downhill in a fraction of the time it took to get to the top.
It's funny how the high points in writing for publication can make you feel really good about it all. And the low points can make you question whether or not you should even call yourself a writer.
I'm in one of those in between spots. I'm writing. I'm waiting. I'm playing the comparison game. Comparing my bylines with other journalists, bloggers, authors, etc. I'm questioning my ideas. Should I follow through with it or toss it?
My focus for the last few weeks has been towards the low points.
That focus may have shifted a bit after a random conversation that I had last night after my kids' band concert. As I was waiting for the kids, I was visiting with a friend. We chatted about our kids in sports, our kids driving cars and other general stuff.
As we said goodbye and turned to walk away she calls out "You keep writing and I'll keep reading."
She had no idea how much I needed to hear that.
That is a high point in this roller-coaster ride of writing.
Today I'm using the speed from the downhill part of the ride to boost me through the next loop-ty-loop.
Thanks for joining me here at the amusement park I call Write-On, Mom! And for my friend who made the comment to me last night: Thanks for reading. I'll keep writing.