Athletes start at a young age, little girls and boys in leotards tumbling across the floor. We sit in class, listening to the stories that the teacher reads and can’t help but be more interested than the other children. When they stop listening, we are leaning forward on our carpet squares, soaking up each word.
When gymnasts are practicing early in the morning, we are up late, scribbling down the stories that we dreamt about that night and unable to sleep. We go to school, and work – writing on scraps of paper, desperate for a few moments to write, but unable. We come home and clean the house, wash the dishes, play with the kids, help with homework, bathe the kids and tuck them in before starting the laundry and finally sitting down to write with a cup of coffee, staring at the clock. The night drags on and after hours of writer’s block on that difficult scene in our novels, we stop and fall into bed before beginning again.
After hours and hours and hours of writing with carafes of coffee beside us and pain in our backs from the uncomfortable computer chair, we complete our manuscript. We take a short break, step outside and finally get a little pink color on our pale cheeks. It is okay to talk to our friends again and we suffer from caffeine heads from the decrease in coffee. After a little while, it’s time to start editing. It doesn’t matter how hard we tried while writing the first draft, we still have to cut out chunks. As a gymnast pulls chunks of skin from their hands as they cry, we do the same as we lose some of our scenes and try to tape new ones over the sores. We laugh and cry as we try to perfect our stories.
Running down, throwing oneself upon the vault as they are tossed and flipping through the air, we send out query letters to agents, attempting to find the one that will advocate for our story. Letter after letter, email after email is sent and the waiting begins. Days, sometimes weeks pass before the rejections begin. No matter how many times we try to be positive, another letter cracks our tough skin. It’s not enough. But without that agent, we can’t get into the publishing company. We beat ourselves up, trying to be published and read, our books residing in a bookstore or a library. We just want to justify this thing we call writing. It pains us, but we love to write and it’s our passion.
Use poor word choice; rejection. Make a few typos; rejection. Leave your name on the title page if they asked you not to; they won’t even read it. It’s harsh. Based on 300 words of a pitch, not even your book, they reject us.
After a few chocolate therapy sessions, we write another query. Someday, we hope to make it and find ourselves in an article about writing or have a movie made about our book. Readers will write letters to tell us what they thought and we will spend hours reading them. It’s not about the money, but the fact that someone is reading what we have suffered for and toiled to write. Being published is like the Olympics for a gymnast, standing and receiving a gold medal as the national anthem plays. It’s our moment, the one we’ve worked so hard for.
We begin as children, listening to stories and dreaming of the ones we could tell. We end as authors, our thoughts printed in written word and on the hearts of those that read it. That’s why we write.
In honor of having over 1,000 views on my blog, I've written this testament to why we write and struggle to become authors, even if it seems too difficult. Thank you for reading and let me know if you like my piece or if it needs a little more! Maybe more coffee? :)