As the end of May 2019 is approaching, I am feeling the relief of the end to my first year of college and a bubbling of excitement in my chest as I think of the year to come. The only thing that has me worried is my writing goal for this year.
I spent the last few months writing and–kind of–editing the novella I had planned for just about a year. I am completely overwhelmed by the love for my novella. The ideas are extremely important to me and consist of what I hope are the stepping stones into my writing career. These characters and plot points are a constant buzz on my brain, and I have loved the challenge of writing a main character who is very opposite of me, and I hope to soon have the chance to share her with everyone.
Of course, I am really the only thing standing in my way.
My goal is to finish editing by August and submit my novella to writing agents, but that cannot be done if I halt my writing in my tracks.
In the last few weeks, my gut discouraged me from writing; every time I read my work and attempted to edit, a wave of shame would crash over me, and I sat there, pouring over each word, hating everything I wrote. I let negativity consume me.
The thoughts seemed to push through my body like blood, filling each vein, each organ with the same horrible, awful idea… that I am not good enough to be a writer.
For many years, the dream ignited a fire within me, a compelling wish to finish what I started. But the flames were too warm in some moments, giving me a dreadful panic. I have sat at my computer countless times over the years, feeling as if I have no future in writing. Those feelings are scary because that is the only thing I have ever planned on doing, but it terrifies me more to think that the dream I’d had since I was ten years old could disappear to an ember.
The negative ideas come often, and I have always been pretty decent at keeping them at bay, but this week was different; I was having a difficult time tuning them out.
Until I was at work one evening. I was serving, barreling into a busy shift, when I had two guests who really changed everything around.
The couple seemed to be in their seventies, and they spoke to me with humor and kindness, and I was thankful that they were my guests. At the end of their meal, however, the gentleman asked me, his voice thick with the Diet Cokes I had been bringing him throughout the night, “Are you a reader?”
I smiled back at him, “Yes, and actually, I want to be a writer.”
They looked pleasantly surprised, and his wife said happily, “He’s a writer!” She said it proudly, and I could tell she doted on that fact profusely.
“Really?” I said.
The gentlemen then told me his story, that he had a dream for 48 years to publish his book idea, and after being a teacher and principal, he finally did it. He did not publish his book until he was seventy years old and has developed his writing career from there. He told me about his books, about how he is working on the third book of his trilogy now.
When they asked me what I was doing to work towards being a writer, I told them of my novella, and they encouraged me with the kindest smiles to never give up that dream, and as his wife suggested with a heartfelt laugh, publish it before I am seventy. They gave me his card when they left.
I was overjoyed to have met Kenneth Lippincott and his wife, Karen. I looked him up when I got home from work and read more about his books. He is a local author, and actually lived in the same city as I do for a long time.
It was amazing to meet him, not only because he was a kind person that I shared a commonality with, but because the couple gave me something to remember, that writing is my dream, always has been. And I cannot give up my dream.
He never gave up his dream, and he got there. And I can, too. I am sure of it.
Ever since our encounter this past Wednesday, I have been more serious than ever about my novella, editing every single day, and I have made a better plan on how to keep up with these blog posts.
Meeting Kenneth Lippincott was just the hint I needed to tell me that I need to keep going. Writing is my passion, and I cannot give it up.
So look out, because I am ready to be a writer and turn this dream into a reality.