After all, I was afraid.
Last year, the writers conference was my fairy godmother, and my every wish came true. This year? I knew what was ahead of me. Work. Hard, brutal, frustrating work.
I pitched to an invisible agent the entire drive to the conference.
Grew teary over my imperfect one sheets and proposal.
I was the only one to blame if I failed. I had reason to be afraid.
I came to the conference expecting to forge my own path, only to find that I could not succeed alone. I wept with newbies as they received their first critiques. Leaned on friends to keep me going when I failed. My days were fueled by advice from meetings, critiques and keynotes: Talent without persistence is useless. Set aside all reasons to ignore the call. Quitting is the only path to failure.
I came to the conference to pursue my dreams.
Only to realize that we all have dreams. We all are important.
And to succeed, we must put others first.
Writing is not a race for a destination. It is a journey. A slow journey. We grow impatient, demanding the success we are certain we deserve. We scavenge for fame. Expecting everything to fall into place when we have not laid the groundwork for our castle of dreams.
Our writing journey is like building a stairway. Either your foundation will be solid and you can climb all the way to the top— or your foundation will be hollow and you will crumble. Life will throw unexpected twists in our paths, but we must keep going.
For now, I will focus on building my stairway. One step after another until I reach my dreams.
The only way to success is to keep climbing.
Do you have writing goals? What are they? How do you plan to reach them?
Coming Next Week: Interview with Author Aaron Gansky