I recently read something in a post on a social media group that I am a part of that had me thinking. The group is for writers, duh and one of the posts came from someone who said he’d given up on getting published. He said he’d gone through the whole circus of completing a manuscript and even getting an agent but gave up when the agent couldn’t find a home for his story.
I read that post and I had so many things that I wanted to say but then I realized, that perhaps he isn’t truly a “writer”. That’s not to say he can’t write, that he doesn’t have the talent for it, but maybe he lacks the passion. Writers write because they have to, because there is a need to tell a story.
Believe me; I understand being disappointed by constant rejection, the self-doubt that creeps in when you get stuck on a story. I know how hard it is to keep going when it seems to be a pointless endeavor. I know that it becomes too much and some people can’t take it.
I was like that for a while. Yet I continued to write because it was my outlet, it calmed me and still does.
Since I was little, I’ve told stories; I’ve written and dreamed up the fantastically dark things that became sexier and more intricate as I grew older. I went through the constant rejections and self-exploration in my twenties. I thought that maybe what I wrote wasn’t what people wanted to read.
Then about three years ago, I had an epiphany. Just because no one is interested in what I have to say doesn’t mean I shouldn’t say it. So I continued to write, giving myself a deadline of Thanksgiving to have my first novel in fifteen years complete.
I did it. And I let a few people read it. Those few people let more people read it and so on and so on until someone finally asked- Where can I buy this? That led to self-publishing and then an Agent and from that came a support system. So yes, I continue to get rejections and I will continue to get them until I don’t.
But in the meantime, I write. Not because I want to be the next James Patterson or Ann Rice. It’s because I am the FIRST Tanisha D Jones. I write because I love my characters and the world they live in. I do get discouraged and tired and frustrated. I even get angry but I continue to write because there are so many people on my side telling me I can, that what I have to say matters.
And because, even when I’m blocked or exhausted or frustrated or ready to throw in the towel and say I quit- I don’t. I can’t.
If I never get a publisher or no one other than my small band of supporters read what I write, it doesn’t matter. It’s what I do, it’s what I am. I am a story teller who builds worlds in vivid color inhabited by wonderfully flawed and dangerous characters even if it’s only in my own mind. I have stories to tell because… Because I am a WRITER , a damned good one.
And I don’t need anyone to tell me that.