***The following letter was written four years ago when I was just starting to write professionally and it's just as meaningful now as it was back then. I've added a postscript.***
I wish you could see yourself as I do.
Strong. Confident. Challenging the writing world head on with no regrets. I know the decision you made to pursue your writing career was not an easy one. To finally admit to yourself there is something out there which drives you to write and can't be denied. To bare a part of yourself within your stories and then pray the world will not shred a part of your soul in the process of reading them.
I know you struggle with all the obstacles standing in the way of you and your 'baby'. Time, writer's block, and LIFE itself can easily get in the way and prevent you from reaching your goals. But you're not a quitter. You don't give up without a fight. You are one of those people who grabs the bull by the horns and wrestles your demons to the ground. In this fight, I want you to remember three things.
Remember sometimes you have to 'kill your darlings' in order to release a more perfect version of your vision. Sometimes it is better to prune the tree so the fruit may grow. Don't be so hard on yourself when those days come along where you sit in front of a piece of paper or that blank screen and you wonder if your muse has deserted you. And believe me, those days WILL come. They may tax your inner strength but remember they don't define you as a writer. They are mere bumps in the road to publication.
Remember to be kind to the critique partners, beta readers, agents, publishers and anyone else who may be in a position to judge your work. Their goal is not to tear you down but lift you up. To challenge you to strengthen your writing skills and polish your created worlds until they are more real than the real world itself. Read their words of wisdom, be it harsh or reassuring, and trust that they are in your corner. Without the writers of this world, there would be no need for all the others and without all the others, writers could not exist at their highest level of expectation.
But most of all, dear ME, remember to take care of YOU. To cherish these moments of dreaming and writing. To celebrate the uniqueness which makes each one of us the perfect person to write our own story. Make sure to take time to play. To let your inner child roam among the clover and dance with the fairies. To count shooting stars in the moonlight. To sail on the mystic ship to the lands of Lunadar or wherever you may choose. To live life to the fullest and to never allow a day go by where you say to yourself...'if only I had lived my life differently'...
Print this letter out and put it where you can look upon it any time you begin to question yourself. Do it NOW. Write it NOW. Be it NOW and embrace all the laughter and tears that are sure to come with this wonderfully fabulous journey toward becoming a published author. You can do this! I have faith in you!
PS. Savor the feeling of elation which comes with that first book contract or offer of representation. Don't doubt that something so wonderful could be happening to you for you have worked hard for this opportunity. YOU deserve this! Celebrate the moment and then get back to what you do best...what you were born to do...and that is to WRITE!