I read great books by great authors. I watch heart wrenching television shows written by amazing writers. And all the while, I’m wishing I could be like them.
My pages are printed. And as I hold them in my hands, I’m a little amazed at myself for writing an entire novel. Even if it may be terrible writing or it never gets published, I did something I’ve always wanted to do. But now I’m at the next level. The hard part. The part where I have to believe in myself. And what do I hear? I hear nothing but the ringing voices of my classmates from college. I’m sitting in a seminar in my mind where my story fails. Again. And then? Then it was just a measly twenty page short story that took me maybe a day to write. I’d read, and re-read it. Each time thinking I’d hear something different from them. But it never failed. Every time, I left wounded. I’d beat myself for wanting what I want. I’d try to convince myself that I’d be great at something, anything else.
Have you ever just wanted to feel like you belong somewhere? That you are talented enough? I see so many people around me, my own age, making their dreams come true. And I almost hate them for it. And that’s awful. Because, chances are they deserve it. And then it makes me hate myself for not choosing a major that specifically trains me for a certain job that I’d land when I graduated. Here I am, graduated for years, married and searching craigslist for any job I might be qualified for. But then I wonder why? I wonder if taking another job means I’m giving up on myself. That I don’t believe in my work enough to think it could really, some day, be enough. Why, I ask you, is it so hard? Why is the one thing that seems nearly impossible is the one thing that should be a given? Believing in yourself.
Then I’m reminded that it just takes one person to like my work to make it work. Of all the publishers in the world, it only takes one. I only need one. But I thought the same thing in my seminars. As long as one person in my class believed in my story, I’d be fine. But I never found that one.
I wrote a story once where the main character’s name was Dexter. What did my classmates discuss the entire hour and 15 minutes of my seminar? Dexter’s Laboratory. Thank you. That was very encouraging.