I can’t count any one thing as a success. There’s nothing I can point at in my meager “career” as a writer and say, “That’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Each manuscript is handed over to an editor, pried from my hands kicking and screaming. It’s not a pretty sight when I turn blue holding my breath.
The one thing I can point to isn’t a piece of finished work. In fact, it will never be finished. It’s something inside.
I spent my 20s making everyone else happy, to my own detriment. I think it was ingrained in me to always be nice, go with the flow, and always be available to help others. Writing is what let me quietly satisfy the inner monster howling to be let out of its cage.
That monster was my own need to make something solely my own that no one else could lord any kind of control over and try to make me do anything I didn’t want to.
There were many moments when I was within a hair’s breadth of giving up, packing it all in and going back to schlepping it in a cubicle from 8am to 6pm every day and making someone else richer on what I have stored in my cranium.
When doubt creeps in now, I kick it out of my office like any other unwelcome guest. That’s only because I stay persistent. Day in, day out, I’m always working on something, well after sundown.
In essence, that inner journey was a triumph. Everything you read from me is merely a written record of that long, strange trip.