I got some good news about my writing today. The type of news that affirms all of the work I have put into my craft. All of the agonizing hours spent writing, building characters and stories, and tearing them all apart because they weren't "good enough".
This news couldn't have met me at a better time.
A friend made some comments recently that had me questioning my worth as a person -- my worth as an artist, or someone who wants to produce something that appeals to and elicits emotion from others, was more or less shattered for a day or so. And stuck feeling like I just wasn't good enough.
Until I got the news that a story I wrote will be published.
I took a roundabout approach to becoming a writer. I can't pretend to know why I took the path I did, or if I would be where I am today had I done things differently. Life is beyond that type of speculation.
What I do know is that I am on the right track in life in one regard. And that is dedicating myself to the one thing (among countless other things I've dedicated myself to doing lately, but right now I'm talking about one thing specifically) that makes me feel at ease as a person. My writing.
I didn't get into it hoping to find value or self-worth. I got into because it called to me. In my lowest points as a human being, writing called to me.
Even when I told myself that I was done writing, it kept calling to me. To the point that the day after proclaiming that I had quit writing forever, I wrote 20,000 words towards one of those discarded manuscripts I rave on about.
Ever since then, I've never stopped writing.
I didn't get into writing hoping to find self-worth. I didn't get into to stroke my own ego. I got into because I simply can't resist the challenge of it.
Today it rewarded me with a moment where I did feel valuable, even though I had been so unsure if I would ever feel that way again after what my friend said to me.
That is a blessing that I never allowed myself to imagine I would find. Tonight, I can go to sleep feeling for the first time in my life like I am truly a writer.
In a sea of doubt, I found a petal of affirmation floating across the surface, pointing me in the right direction.