Planting Seeds

Category: ,

There is something demoralising about openly identifying yourself as an aspiring writer. It is a little humiliating, in all honesty. "Aspiring" indicates falling short of reaching dream, attracting questions about talent or drive. "Writer" is often perceived as dreamy, silly, unattainable, impractical. In constantly striving to prove yourself, trying to convince others that you do have talent and you will succeed, it is easy to get mired in the rejection, disappointment and silence. The question is: how can we overcome the low points to achieve the high ones?

I have figured out a system of my own. Of course, it may not work for you, but I'd like to think that it is a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. I call it planting seeds. Put simply, it consists of maintaining a continuous cycle of sowing future opportunities for myself - the idea being that I will always be spurred by the unremitting hope that my next opportunity could be just around the corner.

The seeds can take any form, big or small. Pitching to magazines. A request for an interview. An email to a writer I admire. A new blog post. A comment on someone else's blog. An offer to do a guest post. Reaching out to a fellow aspiring writer. A synopsis to an agent. A tweet. Buying a book on the Book Depository. An article to an editor. The list goes on.

Of course, the nature of the game is that not all of these ventures will be fruitful. In fact, most of them won't amount to anything. Some may offer hope, only to be dashed. Some may involve a long, drawn out, excruciating wait, only to fade into nothing. Some may be met with resounding silence. But that's okay. Because every so often, there will be a flower waiting for me. One which instills my confidence and validates my dream, gently setting me back onto my writing path. Like the time one of my favorite writers endorsed my blog. Or when a prominent book agent encouraged me to send her my manuscript. Or when a beauty writer I admire invited me to do a guest post on one of my favourite sites. Or when some of my most beloved writers agreed to be interviewed for this blog. Or all of the amazing messages of support I receive from my friends and the people who read my writing. All of these things are incredibly uplifting, and often surface at the most opportune times. Which helps to give me the strength to go on, and not give up.

I'd be dishonest if I didn't divulge the disappointments I have faced. The numerous articles I have submitted to my favorite magazine to no reply. Or a magazine editor telling me that she would love me to write for her but never responding to my follow-up phone calls or emails (carefully spaced to minimise annoyance, of course). Or when a piece I had spent weeks writing went completely unnoticed on my blog. Or the multitude of correspondence which has been ignored, sometimes by my idols. These hiccups may seem small and petty but, as much as it pains me to admit, they are met with a jolt of devastation. We would all like to think that we are special - that one day, somebody will recognise our unique talent and give us our big break. But sometimes it's not luck or birthright that builds our success. It's perseverance. Practice. The art of failing - falling flat on our faces and dusting ourselves off, getting right back up and running straight toward the brick wall again. Because, one day, it may magically transform into an open door. (You know, like Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters.)

So, in conclusion: plant seeds. No matter how few of them blossom, keep going. Persevere. As long as we do, we can nurture the hope of achieving our goals. The second we lapse, we expose our hearts to self-doubt and fear, hindering ourselves. The truth is, all the strength and endurance we need can be sourced from the dream itself, as long as we are clear enough about it. Published articles, a newspaper cadetship, an internship at a magazine, novels... whatever our aspiration, it can only be ours if we don't give up. And so it is the promise of the next flower, just within our grasp, that keeps us moving and climbing to reach the top of the mountain. Until we reach the beautiful garden of our dreams.  

(Picture via Pearled)

Comments (4)

This is such a gorgeous and inspiring post Laura. I love the metaphor of 'seeds', it's so sweet and fitting. I have no doubt that you will be a successful writer, you are much too talented!

Thank you Kimberley! xx

I printed this out and will continue to refer to it when I am feeling deflated!
Thanks Laura x

That's lovely Bel, thank you! xx

Post a Comment