This was a huge win for me. Seeing my article published in a magazine that you could hold in your fingers.
The day it arrived
I remember it arriving at my home in a brown paper envelope. It was still kind of warm when it arrived and it had that smell that new books have, it was fresh off the press.
I’d unsuccessfully attempted to get two children’s novels published, before I turned twenty. Ambitious? Definitely, but with the rejection came an overwhelming sense of failure and shame.
I was really disappointed after slogging away for all those hours, convinced I was producing a best selling novel.
After sending them to various publishers I gave up. I couldn’t handle the rejection. I felt embarrassed and decided that was it. I was going to forget I’d even wasted my time writing them.
I’m like that, I give up way to easily.
After deleting my novels
A few months later I started to get something that I like to call writer’s withdrawal.
For me personally, I stop sleeping. My mind starts to burst with creative ideas and writing is the only way I can calm myself down.
So I started a blog, I was in my early twenties at the time (this blog no longer exists). I started posting a combination of short stories and poetry.
The process of publishing things was painful. They were snippets of things I’d wrote, my personal stash of non-edited raw material and I was posting it for the whole world to see…
In reality I had a very small following, it was merely a minute fraction of the world’s population but my soul felt exposed.
After a few weeks I saw a job advertised as a freelance writer. I sent them the link to my blog.
It landed me a role with Interact magazine as a freelance writer, I was over the moon and seeing my writing published in a magazine was one of the proudest moments of my twenties. It was something I could tick off the bucket list.
The Nothing Part
Then came the nothing part, I’d had my article published, I was finally doing what I loved and then that was it. I didn’t get asked to write anything else. I was so upset. It was a huge pitfall after an almighty high.
I wanted to share this experience because it was something that I wasn’t prepared for at all. Looking back I think it’s one of those things that you learn to accept when you’re self assured. You roll with the punches.
There’s no guarantee that you’re going to get work, be successful or have a regular income. I felt lost and rejected. I got really down, I was a mess emotionally.
Then one day to my absolute horror I received a notification on my blog and a poem that was now flagged as copy written. Someone had literally lifted the poem from my blog and stolen it and actually copyrighted my poem. I deleted my blog immediately.
I started to miss it…
A year later I started a new blog called ‘Allurement Gal‘ and started to blog about my lifestyle and diet. Health has always been important to me, I find my diet has a huge effect on my mood, hormones and energy so it made sense to blog about it.
I gained a small following on Bloglovin‘, it wasn’t that big but I was doing okay. I won a couple of small awards. I posted them on my blog like badges.
I got a full time job working in a kitchen. I was fed up with having no money. My blog posts started to dwindle, they were far and few between and I just kind of gave up.
I kept thinking what if someone I work with reads my blog posts and laughs at me.
Over the next eight years I ran away from my creativity
For the longest time, I threw myself into any job role that was offered to me. I tried to gain as much experience as I could. I distracted myself, I stayed as busy as my body would let me, I tried not to be creative, but deep down I missed writing.
Perhaps it’s because I find writing therapeutic, that I always come back to it; or maybe it’s something that I know I’m meant to do.
I’ve always struggled with the pitfalls of creativity. In my mind I always thought it would be like a step by step process. You do one thing, and then another door opens, and then another.
The truth is reality isn’t like that. No one talks about the times in-between success, the feelings of not being good enough, the rejection or the giving up and trying something else, but I guess these are all important parts of the puzzle too.
What makes people successful isn’t that they don’t fail, it’s that they’re not afraid to fail. They’re willing to try and that after every defeat they pick themselves up and try again. This is the recipe of success.
What the future holds
I’m still on a journey when it comes to writing, I know I’ve got potential, I just need to nurture it.
You might have read some other posts of mine and realised I am also on a journey of self acceptance.
When I was growing up my parents would say things like ‘creativity is a good hobby but it’s not a reliable income’ which is true, but for the longest time I have viewed creativity as a negative aspect of myself. A hindrance or fault almost.
When I start to write I become so immersed in what I’m doing. I can put some food to cook on the stove and forget about it, only to realise three hours later when the ‘stew’ is burnt and a pungent smell of burning comes soaring to the room where I’m writing.
Nothing else can immerse my attention like that.
I realise now that I can’t run away from myself. I am a creative person, so here I am, faults and all.
Success isn’t that easy road you take. It’s the one that trips you up and takes you to places you never thought you’d see.
Success is difficult but that’s why you should never stop trying. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get my novel published. It’s better to try then not at all…
What have been your pitfalls, on the road to success?