The other night, as I walked out of Barnes and Noble with a woman from my writing group I’d only met once, something profound happened to me.
The woman, whose name I’d just asked, shook my hand and smiled. “You really are a great writer.”
“Thank you,” I said, trying my best to accept the compliment gracefully and not be my normal, awkward self.
“You really will make it,” she added.
She walked away and left me contemplating what had just happened.
I played the scene in my mind the next day, tossing around the words she’d said. I really will make it. I really will.
Each word had its own weight in my heart. That woman had vocalized what keeps me writing – the idea, the belief, the chance that I’ll make it in the end.
It’s not always the feedback of others that keeps us going. It’s not always our successes that keep us trying. Sometimes, it’s just a few simple words. I can do this. I will.
The hardest part of pursuing a dream of any kind is having faith in yourself even when it seems stupid. Even when you’ve been rejected or criticized. Learning to use your setbacks as opportunities for growth and change is an essential part of the process. We must not lose those words, those mantras that keep us going as we transition from phase to phase.
Sometimes those words come from a new friend outside the bookstore, but most often they come from within. Relying on our own internal cheerleading can make the creative journey a difficult one. One that demands something from us that we are not readily willing to give.
– Dani Nicole