Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Don’t Look Back (04/19/12)
TITLE: Going Forward
By Susan Hourigan
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I sat despondently at my computer, wondering if I would ever make it as a writer. Why couldn’t I come to a decision of which writing genre I wanted to follow. Do I want to specialise? Am I qualified to do this? My indecision was making me miserable, not to mention broke. Over the years I had spent hundreds of dollars buying books and doing self learning courses, and yet I still couldn’t sit down and write on a regular basis. Was it just writer’s block or was it fear of failure? Feeling dejected and alone, I prayed. I begged God to tell me what to do, “Please I begged, just tell me what type of writer you want me to be and then I’ll know”. Right away the answer was clear. Praying that way wasn’t going to work; God has ways of making us take responsibility for our actions and our inactions. The prayer was my way of trying to get out of making my own decision just in case I failed? At this point it was now or never to make up my mind and take the plunge. Anxiously I wrote down my goals all the while telling myself don’t look back at what I haven’t achieved, just keep my mind focused on what I want to achieve. Going forward was challenging to begin with and the hard work that a writer has to do come as a shock to me. Sourcing out magazines to submit work to and dealing with the rejection emails that started to come in made me feel rather out of my league. I found myself thinking that maybe this wasn’t for me, maybe I should be a fiction writer, or maybe I should try other forms of writing like poetry. The prayer went out again and again I knew the answer, don’t look back, stick with it and work hard for what you want out of this writing journey. Telling myself this over and over I sat down at the computer and began the work. Re write after rewrite until the words began to make sense, query letters sent out and recorded, reading until my eyes were tired and my mind was full. Each night after work I would come home and sit at the computer, after all success doesn’t happen simply by wanting it to you have to work for it. As the weeks went by my shyness to interact with others lessened and I tentatively joined online and local writing groups and started to get involved with other writers. Without realising it I had truly begun living my dream, a dream in which I discovered that I had many talents hidden and disguised by fear. Ideas and subjects to write about were everywhere, waiting to be mined and developed into wonderful articles. Avenues to place my writing manifested all over the place, writing blogs, once upon a time all that writing would have intimidated me right out of the game, but now it was an adventure in itself, a web page that I own and write for, challenges and competitions to keep me busy. The list is ever growing. Talents were not the only thing discovered, the writing community at large are out there. Willing to give a word of encouragement, gentle advice or help with decisions. Of course every now and then, I still get a slight queasy feeling of scepticism wondering if I’m on the right track but after a while the fear fades away. Don’t look back, how wonderful it is to know that I don’t have to. In walking forever forward on this writer’s journey, I know the perils of what I am going to come up against. Like Stephen King, I’ll get my fair share of rejection slips and I'm sure that every now and then I may even experience criticism, nothing new under the sun there, that’s for sure. Yet now I get a joy from this journey. A joy which gives me personal fulfilment, job satisfaction and the delight of being able to encourage others who struggle with the same issues and questions as I often did.
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