Writing strips away the self-confidence of even the most confident individuals. It’ll plague you with self-doubt, cause you to question your very existence, leave you bumbling and stumbling your way through manuscript after manuscript unsure if your writing will go anywhere other than a Dumpster or landfill, and when praise comes your way, you’ll eat it faster than a Happy Meal after you’ve starved yourself for two days. Unless praise proves to be in short supply, constantly being handed out to the other guys and gals, and your debut novel tanks faster than a submarine with a missile stuffed in its jaws. In that case, you’d better figure out some other way to find the road to happiness, or else you’ll be whistling at your own writing funeral, and the carcass will be a stack of half-completed manuscripts, or a broken laptop tossed through a third story window.
But when you rise from the very bottom of the ocean, finally reaching the surface, and gasping for breath as you tread water, you realize how strong you really are. If you can suffer through the worst of the obstacles, and somehow keep on moving forward, constantly pedaling as cement block after cement block is tossed in your path, you’ll come out a better, stronger, and fitter person on the other side. Your confidence rockets to some higher plateau, a level you never thought was possible, let alone attainable, and you end up in a place where you’ve seen it all before. And you’ll keep writing and plugging along, churning out page after type filled page, the words sometimes flowing so freely you feel like the luckiest bastard around, and other times so difficult that you feel like you’re reinventing the writing process, but either way, it satisfies some urge deep within you, some need that only words and stories can satisfy.
Whether you sell a million copies, or pawn them off to friends and family members at holiday functions, or just stuff completed manuscripts in a drawer, before moving on to the next project, you’re doing what you love, and no one can take that away from you. And once you’ve discovered that, you’ve discovered the greatest gift of all, and everything else pales in comparison.