I wasn't sure if I would publish this post today. It's been sitting here in draft form for several days and while I don't often share all of my difficult moments or tough realizations in this space, I decided to just go for it.
As some of you may know, a substantial portion of my income comes from writing. I write for publications and organizations, create web and mobile content and help other writers turn notes into fully developed stories.
You know what? It's really hard work. With rejection around every corner and the constant devaluation of creative work (though, I've worked with some phenomenal people who -- to put it simply -- get it), I often find it difficult to keep going.
Luckily, the challenges associated with creative work are slowly helping me develop a thicker skin. I can feel it happening. Every time I get a response from an editor regarding a submission that wasn't quite right, I find myself responding in a more positive manner than I would have a few months ago. I simply polish the piece a bit more and send it off to the next appropriate choice in a long list of publications.
However, when a pitch that took precious time to craft is simply ignored or when an editor completely drops the ball after praising my work and promising publication, I can't help but feel a bit let down. It happens, my friends, and it is anything but easy.
The lesson here is that this writing for a living business is not for the timid.
I have been attempting to move away from the large and loud world of marketing to become the writer I envisioned while sitting at the back of a classroom wrapping my mind around the authorial intent of dead white men. I wanted to write about things that matter: ideas that connect us all as human beings and subjects that can make a difference.
So, I've pitched and pitched and pitched. I've reached out to editors to try and prove my worth. I've scoured book stores, magazine racks and the depths of the internet for worthy publications. This is what I want to be doing, yet the wanting doesn't always make the writing and submitting any easier.
Writing for a living is really hard. Rejection stings. Complete avoidance is maddening. Even constructive feedback can offer up a gut check from time to time.
And yet, I'll continue on. I hope the rejection, avoidance and feedback will help me become a better writer. If a piece isn't quite right or good enough, then I'll do my best to craft something that is both right and good. I'll continue pitching ideas until my dream publications take note. I'll keep writing about things that matter.
Why? Because at this point on my creative career path, I can't imagine doing anything else.