Being a professional writer is a test in overcoming the greatest enemy to humanity: the self. The job employs every ounce of who you are and leaves it there for your peers to see. But their support and their attitudes are never enough to overcome that voice in the back of your head.
It whispers every time you check your readership “Not enough. You aren’t good enough.” It’s the voice that tells King he’s only lucky and not at all prolific. It’s the voice that tells writers to delete their poems.
But for me, it’s the voice that reminds me just how far I am from who I want to be. The voice tells me that I am friendless in a sea of friends, or that I could never have anything to offer the world.
There are those of us who write every day and that is enough. These lucky few don’t mind if the page isn’t full or if the book is complete when the sun sets. These lucky few have room to breathe at the end of the day, and pride for who they are.
I guess I’m not one of those people. I may never be. But if you’re reading this, and if you’ve been thinking lately that maybe, just maybe you’re not good enough- know that you are not in the minority, but the majority among us pencil-pushing, nit-picking, never quite good enough writers.
I salute you who write despite all of that, I am proud to know those of you who have no fears of failure, but hold high ambitions. You may not succeed, but you’ll do a hell of a lot better than the best of us.
To my readers, I hope you can find in your life the thing that keeps you getting up in the morning. I hope that in this gift of existence for which we can thank no one you can create an existence that is meaningful to you.
And I hope I can create something that is meaningful to you too. But on the days when you hear that voice, tell that bastard where to stuff it- you’ve too much work to do.
Keep living, my friends.