The Diary of an Unpublished Author #3

Dear Diary,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Let’s take a look at the numbers: you had two jobs, you went travelling for three months and now you have one job. And all the while you’re still dreaming, still imagining, going off into reveries every once in a while and envisioning everything you ever wanted coming true, and feeling the potency of it all fill you up inside.

And you’re still working at it, I know. You write, you edit, you re-draft, you apply for literary agents and accept their rejections with a grim smile and a sense of inevitability. Don’t forget that JK got rejected is still annoying to hear but you’ve realised by now that it’s the mantra of people who don’t understand what it’s like to create life and then be told that it’s not good enough. That it’s interesting or original, but ultimately not worthy of their time or their support.

Screw literary agents, Beth. You know that they’re making their way through the ever-increasing slush pile with their coffee dregs and fuzzy heads and they’re not really concentrating, and that by vaguely glancing at the manuscript they haven’t truly understand your work, or what you’re trying to say. How important it is.

Maybe sometimes you feel a bit disheartened. Maybe sometimes you briefly forget everything that you want and your boundless enthusiasm just kind of fades away as you stare blankly at your computer screen, your heart sinking.

I think that’s normal. I think that’s what they call writer’s block. And self-doubt? I believe that’s a healthy writer’s breakfast. I think this is the part in your story when you have to keep going, persevere past your obstacles, fuck the haters and all that.

Last year you did something terribly brave and terribly permanent and you tattoed a small reminder of your book onto your skin. It’s only small and it’s terribly cliche, you are fully aware of that. But you are a commitment-phobe and in this way you have committed yourself to a life of pursuing what you love and what you want to do. How could you regret that?

Forever and ever. It’s you and me, baby.

Yours,

Beth

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