For myself, something I've noticed, is that before something good can come of it, I must be beaten and broken into the dirt. I must be seriously reassessing my life choices to seek publication at all. I must be giving up on writing entirely in a serious, bone-weary way. I must be wallowing in my despair of ever finding any (further, more,) success. And not only because I've been on submission for an eon, or because I was in the query trenches for an even longer age, but because everything in my life around me is blowing up, too. Financial woes. Personal woes. Business woes. Family woes.
But ultimately, it is always darkest before the dawn. Because once I reach the bottom of that pit of despair where I am verging on surety that I have made a terrible decision and it is time to just give up on chasing this dream, because it is just never going to happen, and it is not fair to the people around me that I keep investing so much into it at their expense, that is when I get an email or a phone call that changes everything.
The first time this happened, it was after my Grandfather had suffered his first stroke, and things were looking pretty grim. The house was a revolving door for guests -- family members coming and going to help my grandfather with his recovery -- and it was very likely, as unsuited as I was to the whole of it, that I, too, would be burdened with some portion of his care. My life was rapidly spiraling out of my control, and I felt very much as if I was being crushed under the weight of family obligation and expectation, with a heaping side of crippling guilt.
I remember one night, I had sunk to the cool, blue linoleum of the kitchen floor in front of the refrigerator, and I looked up at my cousin standing by the door and said: "I can't do this. I think I'm going to quit writing. I have to." Without hesitation or consideration, she said immediately: "No, you're not."
Within days, World Weaver Press contacted me about my Fate of the Gods books. And I flew through the house, sprinting to the guest room/living room/office where my aunt from California was staying, and that same cousin was ensconced, ready and waiting for me to "just check my email quick" before we started watching the summer Olympics, and the news burst out of me in a rush. I had an offer of publication. Someone wanted my books. Someone believed in my books. Someone believed in me. It was a lifeline. A sign, so close on the heels of my late night confession of doubt and despair.
I wasn't quitting writing after all.
At least not yet.
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