My First Draft of My First Story Ever

So, I have a friend right now who’s working on her first manuscript ever. It’s a story she’s been wanting to write for a long time, but just hasn’t. After some gentle–or not so gentle–encouragement on my part, she finally decided to bite the bullet and participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

As my friend has been working her little booty off, I’ve been reliving the early days of my own writing career; back when I too was a closeted writer. Back when I worked in secret because I was too scared, too embarrassed, too overwhelmed to admit to anyone I wanted to be a published author someday. Back when I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or how tough my road ahead was going to be.

Or so I thought.

Last week, while talking to my friend about her first draft of her first story ever, I decided to run upstairs and dig out mine. Purely out of curiosity. Just to see how far I’ve come in the 6-ish years since I wrote it. Just to laugh at how oblivious I used to be to the grim realities of becoming a published author.

This was what I found:

10442564_253303068195582_1205584036698614734_nI almost cried when I saw what I’d taped to the cover.

10484484_253302801528942_4987265418950671251_nAn empty Dove’s chocolate wrapper with the quote: “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.

It appears I wasn’t so naive or oblivious as I thought. Even back then, I knew the road to getting published was going to be a bumpy one, filled with pothole after pothole of failure. And, geeze, I’m glad I prepared myself. Because, yes, my journey HAS been bumpy, and it HAS been filled with failures. But, it’s also been building towards success. With each failure, I’ve begun anew, more determined than ever. With each “no” and rejection letter and harsh criticism, I’ve picked myself back up, brushed off the sting, and started over.

So, to all you newer, closeted writers out there, remember this: “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.

AKA, Never give up!

Be ready to pick yourself back up, brush off the sting, and start over. If this is your passion, your dream, then be prepared to fight for it.

8 thoughts on “My First Draft of My First Story Ever

  1. Thank you for posting this! My Dove chocolate says “Follow your Dreams.”

    I have always known the road will be bumpy in the long run but your friend is so blessed to have someone like you to encourage her. I have realized over the last few years that some people will never understand your dreams or the work it takes to achieve them, and this realization has forced me to be a pseudo-closet writer. Only a select few know about my dreams and aspirations just so I won’t be constantly questioned about my goals or mocked each time I fail. I hope your friend can find a wonderful support group to push and inspire her in her journey! Seems like she off to a great start!

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    1. Ah, that’s a good Dove’s wrapper!

      I’ve been out of my writer’s closet for about five years now, and I STILL struggle with people not understanding my ambitions. They don’t get why I keep writing when I’m “not getting anywhere”. In fact, just a few weeks ago–after I declined going out because I needed to work on my MS instead–a co-worker said, “Girl, you need to stop living in fantasy and join the real world.”

      At first, I was hurt and infuriated by her comment. But then I had a major epiphany. I finally realized not everyone has a passion in life. Not everyone understands what it feels like to have a dream, what it takes to fight to achieve it. And those are the people who will always be the ones mocking/questioning mine.

      So, maybe that’ll help you face any naysayers in the future? I know it will help me. From now on, I’m going to remind myself: These are MY dreams, and nobody has the right to make me feel bad about them!

      🙂

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      1. I always turn back to that wrapper when I feel discouraged! It reminds me that I am doing what makes me happy and pushes me to keep working. I am also lucky to have a husband that fully supports my dream despite not being a fan of fiction.

        Thank you for sharing your epiphany! I have come to the same realization over the last six months thanks to grad school. I spent almost four years with a full work and school load, and certain family members never understood the work it too to complete the degree. They always questioned my plans and goals, and at times it was rather mean.

        Then, I realized that my true dream is to make a living writing. I was constantly being asked ‘now what are you going to do with this degree’ and I just couldn’t share my dream because I knew that they would never understand. You hit the nail on the head; they had never had dreams and goals like me. They couldn’t understand.

        Hopefully I will be more open to sharing in the coming months. But until then I keep reminding myself that I am accomplishing something with each written word and I keep those who understand my dreams close!

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      2. I honestly don’t talk about my writing with most of my friends and family, because…yeah. They just don’t get it (in fact, I think most of them think it’s a cute hobby of mine…grrr). So glad to know your husband is supportive! We all need at LEAST one cheerleader to keep us going.

        Keep writing–and dreaming–on. And never let the naysayers win! 🙂

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