by Bibiana Krall
The writing life is one that feels often like a roller coaster and challenges force us to look inside for a reason behind what we do.
There will be many of us who don’t make it no matter how hard we try… because this isn’t just about being creative, it’s also about timing, relationships and the ability to believe that we can do something special without any kudos for an extended period of time, seeing evidentiary progress or receiving external attention.
There will be many days as a writer you will doubt your abilities and wonder why you continue to try? I’ve concluded that there is much more to finding success than simply writing an excellent story.
It’s tough to say who else sees what you’re doing out in the world and who you might inspire simply from offering wisdom, guidance or your own experience. The past few months have been an intense lesson in asking myself this question on the days I feel crippled by the complications of life or dissatisfied with where things stand for my projects.
Queries for a literary agent and endless submissions for magazines fill a thumb drive and the “no” pile grows deeper on my desk. A digital mound of words that either lay stagnant or become possibility.
But… a few weeks ago one of my Creative Writing students, who is only thirteen years old, tragically lost his father. He missed only one class and is already back with us, writing his heart out. The depth of his character has made me stop asking myself why.
A playwriting contest arrived only a few days ago and without nearly enough time to do what we needed to — he has given his all, simply to find renewed hope through creative expression.
What a valuable lesson we all might take from him and his mother, a poet whose world caved in when she lost her husband and was left without the proper financial resources to take care of their two children. Yet, she is willing to push past her trauma and grief to try for something better and help her son grow as a writer and a human being.
What is inside them both must be discovered inside ourselves, if we wish to move past whatever it is that holds us back. Is it fear, change or simply self-doubt that stops us from piercing the elusive veil?
Whenever I want to give up and burn my first drafts in a giant bonfire, I think about sixth grade and running the mile in the snow every morning with my gym class. The final lap around the school was always one that tested my physical and mental limits, but somehow I always made it and eventually it wasn’t as hard anymore.
Prepare yourself for a long haul, and don’t expect much cheering or affirmation from others. Expect instead something from yourself and work hard in silence, understand what you wish to accomplish and mindfully push towards that end. The rhythm of discipline and adherence to your goals builds a strength and purpose that will take you far and enthuse something we might all need a bit more of, self-respect, a defined purpose and an unbreakable resilience.
Good luck with your projects and remember… the tough days are your mile-markers towards an incredible future. Keep going!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bibiana is a small-town girl from the Midwest who left home at an early age and traveled the world. Eventually settling in a historic village near Savannah, Georgia. She made a nest, created a family and built a dynamic career with a passion for culture, travel and private aviation. In the middle of her life, she shifted gears, and returned to higher education, earning an MA in Fiction Writing and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both from Wilkes University CW. Walking a new, exciting path: writing novels, short stories, podcasts, and teaching Creative Writing as a writing fellow with Deep Center in Savannah.
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