As authors, we forget that our stories are not our own. This is the very thing that was said to me, what feels like a lifetime ago, that caused that tumultuous longing in my soul to finally become something more than a mere hope.
I hope I’m a writer. I hope someone will love what I create. I hope I’ll be somebody.
Think of all the worlds you’ve loved, brought to you as gifts by the creative minds of others—the stories you read as a child, or teenager, or adult that felt so real you could scarcely believe they weren’t. It doesn’t matter who wrote them, what college they attended or how many credits or achievements they had to their name.
What mattered was the doorway they opened, the invitation they gave you to enter freely into a world that was destined to change your life—if only in the slightest way. A single grain of sand must exist first, before any beach can frame an ocean. Have you ever found yourself worrying that no one will ever be touched by your writing? That no one will read and love your stories like you hope in your heart of hearts? The truth is, numbers on a list won’t tell you who has passed through the doorway. Money in a bank account can’t tell you upon whose soul your world has been engraved. A beautiful, glowing review in a paper or magazine cannot share with you what daydreams, beyond the foundation you laid, are being spun long after the last page was turned. Even if it is one single life, one single grain of sand…it matters. It matters. It matters.
But it must matter to you first. Would one grain of sand be enough? Don’t misunderstand me, I long for the beach. Yet, there is a peace that accompanies the acceptance of possibility. There is a possibility that I may die before my writing ever has a chance. There is a possibility that I will live decades beyond the last rejection letter, having never given up on my work, only to realize late in life that it will not see publication in my lifetime—that I will die, never knowing if my legacy will be merely family chatter or if it will posthumously find its way into the world. It is really easy to tell yourself that you are settled with this reality, that you accept it fully—embrace it even. But, you’ll know when you do, when you utterly accept it, because your writing will change. You will change.
I believe that success isn’t fated, it is fought for. Talent doesn’t produce half as much magic as creativity and endurance can. But in order to strive for a beach you’ve got to aim for that one, single, seemingly meaningless grain. Once you have it in your hand, you’ll see what I mean. And all else falls away…