Back to the Bean: A Writer's Letter to No
This was originally a guest post that I wrote for a fellow writer's blog (original post HERE), but I wanted to share it here on my own blog as well. I wrote this post when I was feeling incredibly discouraged, and it was a form of therapy for me. It's probably one of the most personal things I've ever put out there, but I wanted to share it because I know there are so many writers who can relate. Sending out hugs to all of you!
Back to the Bean: A Writer's Letter to No
By: Kim Chance
We need to talk. I’ve been putting this off for a while now, but I think it’s finally time for me to get this off my chest. I hope you won’t take this personally because as cliché as it sounds, it really is me and not you….well, for the most part.
It’s time for the truth, and it boils down to this: I’m exhausted of you, No. Completely and utterly exhausted. There. I said it, and I’m sorry. But it’s true.
When we first met, you hardly bothered me. In fact, every time you walked in with that ridiculous sashay of yours, I would laugh and tell myself that you didn’t matter because I was much bigger than you. However, lately, you’ve grown in size. Like a freaking beanstalk, you’ve gone from being a tiny little bean, to being this enormous, ever-growing plant that’s stuck smack dab in the middle of my life. It’s getting a little harder to pretend that I’m not frustrated by you.
When I open my email inbox to check for responses to my latest batch of queries, there you are.
When I sit down at my computer to work on my new manuscript, you refuse to let me think that any idea I come up with is valuable.
When I research agents, you constantly tease me, especially when I think I’ve found the perfect fit for my manuscript.
When I enter a writing contest or a pitch party, you’re on the sidelines waiting with a pointed finger and a maniacal laugh.
You’re always there. Every step I take, there you are. And you want to know what I’ve realized, No? You’re kind of a jerk.
Now, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but it’s the truth, and it’s high time that I do something about it.
Want to know why? Because you’re starting to become more than the beanstalk, No. You’ve become the Giant in my life—this huge, looming shadow hanging over my head. I can’t seem to outrun you, and your constant presence has attracted some very unwelcome additions to our little party. I know they’re your friends and all, but Doubt, Fear, and Insecurity suck—like in a “talking during the movie”, “ate the last slice of pizza” kind of way. I’ve put up with them for as long as I could, but they’ve worn out their welcome, and they need to go.
I’m through with Doubt whispering in my head. I’m done with Fear waking me up in the middle of the night and keeping me awake. And most of all, I’m over Insecurity making me feel like everyone else deserves it and I don’t, that I’m not good enough and never will be.
Because I do. And I am.
So, I think it’s time I broke up with you, No. I need you to be the bean again, not the beanstalk and definitely not the Giant. I need you to be just one small part of my life, not the single thing that controls it.
I’m not saying we won’t see each other because we most certainly will, but I hope when we pass each other on the street, we can wave kindly to one another and know that we’ve helped each other to grow. That’s what friends do, after all, and I’d really like to be your friend if I can.
Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m going to hold my head up, work as hard as I possibly can, and keep believing that dreams can come true.
Because they do. And I have to believe that mine will.
From now on, when I open my email, I will view each rejection as a stepping stone toward my end goal. When I sit down to work on my new book, I’ll give each new idea its far shot, and if it crashes and burns? Well, at least I’ve figured out what won’t work. I will try again and again until I get it right. When I’m researching agents, I won’t get discouraged when they say they don’t want my type of story. I’ll simply celebrate even more when I find a few who do. And when I enter a contest or a pitch party, I’ll stop seeing it as the only measure of my book’s worth. I’ll use it to make new friends and learn as much as I can.
I will write every day, with my whole heart. Not because I need any kind of approval, but because it is simply who I am and what I love.
I have no idea where my journey will lead and to be honest, I think you and I will be seeing a whole more of each other before we can cleanly depart from one another. But at least now, you’ll be the bean again and I can go back to being me—and that’s what counts.
I like to think of us like this: We’re two leaves in a swirling wind—mashed together at times, but ultimately meant to end up in very different places. When I get to that place, No, I’ll think of you and forever be grateful for how you’ve helped shape me into the writer, the person I am today.
I’m sorry it didn’t work out between us, but No? I’m braver and stronger because of you. Remember that. I know I will.
Thanks for understanding.