Writing is hard. Rejection is rampant. Time is scarce. But I will not stop.
Often romanticized, being a writer sounds exciting, glamorous, adventurous, fun, and easy. In reality, it is grueling to keep working on the same piece to death. Even when you think it is done, it is not. The editing, and re-editing (and re-re-editing) of each work or chapter is tedious at best. At times the ideas flow. At times the ideas idle. But when the words come together, with just the right punctuation and perfected grammar, it is magical. There is little that feels as satisfying as reading a finished piece–in my own voice–and feeling my emotions crumble in my soul. When a tear or two fall from my eyes (despite having read it ad nauseum), I know I have done it right. This is why I do not stop. This is what I fight for. This is what keeps bringing me back to the keyboard.
As another book agent’s rejection email pinged my mailbox today, I watched Evelyn hard at play. Little does she know that her “play” is therapy. Her “play” is designed to give her strength where she is weak, building up her muscles that started in a disadvantaged state. Her “play” forces her to use her right arm when her left is stronger and dominating. Her “play” gets her up on her feet when they are still works in progress after clubfoot treatment and her wobbly legs have to work extra hard to support her ever-growing stature. Learning these skills does not come as easy for her as other babies born without such weaknesses. She is blissfully unaware of this. She never stops pushing herself. She never lets her motivation wane. Untouched by negative adult biases, her actions never display an attitude that would say “I can’t”, “I will never get it”, “This is too hard”, “I quit”. Even if she had that lexicon, she would not know to use the words with such negativity. Her arching back, cries and tears, and pushing toys away lets us know when she needs a break. Her waving arms, attempts at crawling away, and lying on the floor lets us know when she is tired. Still, she does not stop. She tries again. She hasn’t learned to quit, and I hope she never does.
Encouraging is her young innocence that seems to sadly dissipate with each passing year. She is my hero, my strength, my inspiration. I may have been working on Sophia’s Story for nearly five years, but I will continue another five, ten, fifteen if needed. And in that time, Evelyn will be walking independently and grabbing our hands with her right instead of the left, not even giving it a second thought.
It may be difficult to learn her motor skills, but Evelyn never stops. It may be challenging to get my writing noticed by the professionals, but I too carry on.