submitted by bappletree
You are worth a damn. You are more than they will ever perceive you to be.
Wanting to be a writer isn’t easy - for other people. Every time you expose your passion they cast these aspersions at you and they brand your skin with messages telling you why you can’t. Writing is a useless hobby. You will never make it. It’s impractical. The words are imprinted on your arms and wrists and fingers and as you type that final stanza, fingers slamming the keyboard, you can’t help but see them glaring up at you like warnings. They send electric shocks through your bones and snap you out of this crazy, romanticized dream you’re living.
They hurt you because they will never work.
Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you spent your high school career wracking your brain for something that could give you even half the gratification writing does on a bad day. Maybe you’ve known your entire life, since you were six and scribbling up and down pages of construction paper. Maybe it’s everyone else you’re trying to convince - your parents, your friends, the guidance counselor.
Stop it right now. They will never understand you. As much as your own words twist your heart into a day-old pretzel of hope and fury and sorrow, all of the pent-up emotions in you welling up until they flow down through the word document you’ve opened, that’s how much they will doubt you. And this will trouble you more than the doubts you harbor on your own because you can’t smother them with any amount of accomplishments.
This isn’t totally their fault. We grow up with two conflicting messages blaring in our ears: follow your dreams, but be successful.
Notice I said “but” – not “and”. Because while you know better than most that success is not determined by the amount of money you make before you die, that is exactly what these messages convey. Follow your dreams – assuming that those dreams put a roast chicken on the table. Follow your dreams – assuming they are math or science or education or politics or medicine. And I do not mean to put down these professions, just simply to demonstrate that they fall under the category of “useful” things, and your life’s work, dear one, does not.
This is not because your passion cannot benefit people. Part of the journey to writer-dom is coming up with your own theory as to why you aren’t qualified to compete in the rat-race that is life.
My theory? Reading a book takes more time than getting your blood pressure checked. It is harder to contemplate the feelings lying dormant inside of you than it is to go to the supermarket and stand in line at the checkout pretending that they don’t exist. The word “useful” in these people’s minds exists simply to divide the concrete from the abstract.
But here’s the biggest plot twist: There is no reason to give other people the satisfaction of knowing you want to be a writer because you already are one. You became one the day you recognized the eternal gap in your life slowly filling with each sentence you strung together, and no matter how many people talk down to you, nothing will reverse the string of epiphanies unraveling inside you by the day.
All you have to do now is be.
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