My Wish for You

sunset and twilight sky, hand in silhouette reaching out with fingers spread - Photo by Kaique Rocha:

It’s March 23, 2022. 8:00pm. An electrician just finished updating the lamp in your office, and our bathroom renovation is starting in about two weeks. You’re finally starting to feel like yourself again. You’re 80,000 words into your novel, and you’re beginning to get depressed.

You haven’t admitted it to anyone, but you’re worried about getting so pre-occupied with writing that you’ll stop caring about everything else around you. That’s how it used to be. Back in high school up until your early 20s; when writing was the only reprieve from the relentless chaos of your life.

You finished outlining the first and second book this week, but when you started outlining the third one you paused. It was always going to be a three part story, but for some reason seeing the framework is making you panic.

You haven’t written in two days.

I hope it’s a fluke. I hope it is the fluctuating temperature aggravating your nerves and arthritis keeping you from pushing to finish this. I hope it’s temporary. I hope you keep trying.

I know it’s fear. I know it’s imposture syndrome telling you that you have no business writing a book. I know it’s negative self-talk repeating everything you’ve been told throughout your life about pursuing artistic interests. I know it’s a lack of confidence in yourself because of anxiety, depression, and health issues. I know you worry that if you actually decide to switch over to this as a career and leave your job that you’ll lose everything that you’ve worked for.

I also know that you dream about being published. You have ever since you were five years old and you learned how books were made. I know you want to see your name in print, on your book cover, wrapped around your story. (And I know you’re obsessed with the idea of people dressing up as your characters.) That’s never going to happen if you quit now.

You’ve put a year’s worth of work into this project. Most of the word count coming from NaNoWriMo, but you’ve tacked on an additional 20k since then. You’ve made writer friends! You joined and became involved with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild! You’ve taken workshops, and you’re studying the craft of writing!

I wish you let yourself enjoy this process. You feel alive when you’re writing. Every stress and worry falls away for a short while, and you’re you. Really you. Every word, implication, expression, and sassy bit of dialogue. Uninhibited.

I wish you believed in yourself. So many people in your life call you capable, gifted, amazing… and you don’t think a word of it is authentic.

I wish that you will finish this book. “One in three” sounds daunting now… but “one down, two to go” sounds like a quest for revenge. You should avenge the time lost when you forced yourself to give up on the only thing you’ve ever really wanted.

Go to war with the idea that you’ll never achieve this goal. And fucking crush it.

Photo by Kaique Rocha

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