Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BRUISED BUT NOT BROKEN

Recently a person very close to me, someone who I assumed supported my dreams, told me that I had no career aspirations (although I do have a FT job). I figured This Person must have had a momentary brain lapse and forgot about the countless hours I spend writing, story weaving, editing, blogging, attending conferences, critiquing, querying, and reading to strengthen my craft. Surely, This Person so close to me must have forgotten that my aspirations—my dream—is to be a full-time author. So I reminded This Person.

They said writing books wasn’t a career. This Person knew someone (one) who had published a few books and didn’t make any money. In This Person’s opinion my dream was meaningless because my odds of becoming wealthy doing it are slim to none. As if monetary wealth is a true determination of riches.

This Person is someone who I thought had my back. I envisioned This Person’s name printed in the Acknowledgments section of my future published novels. This Person had claimed they believed in me and my writing many times in the past, yet there they were, belittling my dream.

I felt as if I had been pushed off the edge of a cliff. It was a devastating feeling of falling backwards into darkness, unable to breathe, while reaching forward trying to grasp onto this person I assumed would never let me fall—much less shove me backwards.
I cried. I defended myself. I cried some more. But I just kept plummeting, and This Person continued to get smaller as they blurred through my tears and faded from my vision. I kept waiting to hit rock bottom, to hit so hard it would leave me bruised and broken.

But that didn’t happen.

Because I have wings.

Wings made of passion, perseverance, love for the craft, love for storytelling, and love for myself. Wings made of two parents who believe in me no matter how many times I’ve failed or let them down; including a mother who reads, critiques, and sees potential in every word I write. Wings made of best friends who have known me for years and believe in my characters, including the ones named after them. Numerous wings of writing friends who not only read my stories and tell me what’s brilliant and what needs serious work, but who cheer me on and remind me that each seemingly failure is a step towards success.

My wings save me from crashing. My wings keep me flying towards my dream, no matter how high or unreachable they may appear. This Person was a part of my wings, so I can’t deny that I’m wounded. I can’t say it doesn’t hurt. This Person may have clipped me, but I can still fly. And some day, the wings that still support me will be the reason I soar.

59 comments:

  1. Good for you. I've also had some close people say things like this and it hurts. But you're not doing it for them. Just remember that. And remember that there are hundreds of us here who DO support you.

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  2. I'm sure This Person thought they were doing you a favor, trying to protect you from what they see as a unrewarding future.

    And This Person was so wrong. What you need is protection from people like This Person. Good for you for pulling yourself back up from the spin.

    We believe in you.

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  3. Your words lift me up as well! If This Person cannot see deep enough inside you, to witness the fire that burns there, then even though his/her intentions were well-meaning...they were mis-guided. I believe in you also!! :)

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  4. This is a great post. I not so long ago had A Person similar to This Person. I['m sad to say I didn't come out of the experience as well as you but your post has inspired me to do better. Thank you!

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  5. Good for you for growing wings and flying away.

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  6. You know I believe in you too. (((hugs)))

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  7. I'm sorry that person belittled your dream. But I'm glad it's not going to stop you. I'm not giving up either :)

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  8. I'm surprised this person thinks wealth and career are synonymous. How many satisfying careers out there that never lead to wealth?

    Glad you have so much support. Our books aren't for every reader and neither are our choices.

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  9. I love this post! It's a hard life, working toward seeing the fruits of your labor in print, and even after that there are the inevitable bad reviews. I have a "career" that's never going to make me wealthy, but I do that because I love it, too. If I could just sell a book, I think I could die happy. Even if no one else liked it but me. ;)

    Glad to see your wings escaped from this situation unscathed!

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  10. I've experienced that kind of conversation before. For some reason nonfinancial satisfaction out a career is hard for some people to understand. I hope your wings take you very far indeed.

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  11. This Person is a pitiful pitiful person.Either they (wrongly) truly believe that $=success or they are jealous of your passion and energy towards your dreams and/or feel you WILL be successful with your writing. Some people see a person getting close to reaching their dreams and lash out...they hope to dash those dreams to slow your progress because they feel small.

    Trust me, whatever This Person's reasons for trying to clip your wings, they do not come from a place of real love. (Real love is a verb more than a feeling.) Surround yourself with people who truly support your dreams.
    Pity the rest...from a far distance. Like Maya always says, when people show you who they really are, believe them.

    I'm sincerely sorry for your pain. *hugs*

    Now stretch those beautiful radiant wings and soar.

    Love,
    Lola

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  12. YOU my dear are GREATER than the sum of all anyone anticipates from you. Believe in yourself.

    Bravo for spreading your wings and flying.

    They will come to you when you are reaching your goals and you will be THEIR inspiration. Smiles.

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  13. Do you want me to get a stick and beat This Person with it? D.L.'s comment is wonderful and says what I would, so *insert here*. WE have your back, and we won't let you fall.

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  14. Soar, girl! Soar HIGH! Lovely post. I had a This Person, too. The person I thought would support me more than anyone, not just because we're close, but because she's artistic and talented and had too many people push her down. But after receiving a PUBLISHED copy of my first book in a series, she said, "So, when are you going to write something real?" Because my paranormal romance/UF story isn't "real." She's still in my life, but not a part of my writing dream anymore.

    Let's spread our wings and fly together. That's what writer friends are for.

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  15. There will always be someone attempting to crush our dreams...good for you for believing in yourself!
    We all have your back...we're all in your boat...I'm sure many, if not most, of us have been just where you are now. I know I have. :( Don't spend another second thinking about This Person. You are amazing and I always look forward to your posts! I can't wait to see your name on the bookshelves!

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  16. There are a ton of people whose "careers" led them to dead-ends, who look back after 30 years and ask where the time went and why they never pursued a dream they once had. You won't be one of them. I'm so glad to hear you've already aired out your wings and left that person's negativity behind.

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  17. Oh Karen. I am so sorry someone you thought always had your back let you down. That is so hard to deal with. I'm so proud of you though - you may be hurt, your wings might be clipped but this person is not going to make you stop doing what you love. And that shows true strength on your part.

    I believe in you Karen :)

    PS. Isn't it wonderful to have a Mom who supports you, reads your work and helps you make it even better. A Mom who has more faith in you then you do in yourself and helps you on your bad days?

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  18. What a lovely way to look at and to express something so hurtful. Just writing this so beautifully is proof that you shouldn't give up. But I can also say that with authority since I've read your fiction :)

    Someday VERY SOON we will be either at ALA together with ARCs of our books and real life fans, or we will be on a totally awesome book tour.

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  19. Wow - so glad you had wings to support you and didn't fall. Sorry this happened to you, but definitely don't give up.

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  20. I'm glad you remembered who you are and what your dreams are. There are a lot of people out there who should believe and who don't, and I'm sorry that person did that to you.

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  21. Such asshats are the reason birds preen their feathers: One has to remove the broken, the damaged, the feather that juts awkwardly, preventing the wing from its function, that of supporting the flier.

    In short, pluck that shit feather and fly!

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  22. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. It feels like betrayal but what guts you have, to realize you do have wings. Thanks for the wonderful imagery that I hope will help me and others when we feel like falling.

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  23. These are the kind of situations that really test our tenacity. It would be easy to give up after that kind of pain, but the fact that it just makes you more determined, proves you've got it in you to do it.

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  24. Good for you, sweetie. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it. Persevere.

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  25. That must have been really upsetting. I commend you for having the strength to see past the person's hurtful words to the real truth of the situation and soar.

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  26. Some people will just never get that writing is in your blood...you must surround yourself with people that are positive and supportive!
    Do you belong to She Writes?

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  27. I've had a family member tell me writing is a silly career. I'm proud of you for continuing to fly and one day you will soar.

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  28. I love your posts like this. They show your fire, and that's awesome.

    We can't wait to watch you soar, darlin'.

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  29. That's awful, to have someone say negative stuff like that. But it's probably not about you, it's about them - maybe he or she suffered a disappointment in his/her life and wound up taking it out on you. In any case, I'm glad you got through it and have the perseverance to soar!

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  30. This Person was probably having a bad day and took it out on you.

    No one else can understand your dream and your passion, because it was given to you.

    Hugs and know many of us are pulling for you! :O)

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  31. Awe, good for you! This Person must have been having some issues but it's really no reason to attack an innocent bystander and bring them down. Shame on them!

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  32. Stay strong, keep soaring on the wings of love:)

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  33. This is such a beautifully written post. You pulled this work of art from all of those insidious ideas carried on words that all writers have either heard, or imagined people to say, or have even said to themselves. Any other wealth to be gained from writring is secondary to how it feeds the soul.

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  34. Good for you for not letting this person get to you and bring you down. I'm glad you know you have wings. Keep flying!

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  35. I love the way you write and express yourself--never give up the dream! Good for you for your belief in yourself :) and what wonderful parents you have too!!

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  36. I read your blog and I think you are absolutely Brilliant! It's a good thing you didn't let This Person cut off your wings. Love you Karen! I'm so proud of you for continuing to fly.

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  37. I'm sorry you had to hear this from someone important to you. :( And I'm so glad you picked yourself right up.

    I tell few people about my writing because I don't care for questions or negativity.

    I have a blog award for you.

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  38. Good for you! There will always be people waiting to clip our wings, but only if we fly low enough that they can reach us :)

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  39. Oh Karen, this post moved me and inspired me all at once. I'm sorry for your pain but thrilled at your determination. **Hugs**

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  40. Precisely written,bravo.Keep flying

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  41. My goodness! You have an amazing lyrical style and superb writing skills. I am now a fan.

    Sometimes that happens and there is no way to truly change someone's perception, because what comes from the mouth, comes from the heart.

    Very prudent of you to keep your wings in the face of this betrayal. I'll remain here...waiting for the day you touch the sky.

    Much love.

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  42. This was beautiful.

    It's hard to think about the fact that you'll have believers that one day will say it's all a joke. I never realized it until I sent in my manuscript and was given quite the opportunity by a publishing house. A certain someone had shared that they thought it was just a hobby, not something I was ACTUALLY going to pursue.

    It was hard to watch them stop believing but I tell you this, it didn't stop me from believing. Like you said, we have wings, they carry us. We're stronger than what those say about us.

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  43. Listening to someone belittle our dreams happens every once in a while but fortunately it isn't something we have to pay attention to. Anyone worth their salt knows that mountains of money isn't a measurement for success. If you're happy when you write and create and you like doing what you're doing then who cares what they say? You are a fantastic writer and never listen to anyone that tells you otherwise!

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  44. Wow. That hurts. I've had a This Person like that. Not only did This Person tell me I'd never make it so I should just self-publish already, This Person rubbed my nose in it everytime someone else got published.

    Yes, it hurts. A lot. But we're better off without Those People. Good for you for letting your wings keep you from hitting rock bottom.

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  45. This brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that someone close to you hurt you that way. It really is so disappointing when we open ourselves up and tell other people about our dreams, only to have our goals belittled or mocked. I'm in a major life transition process right now and if it wasn't for the love and support of my family and friends, I couldn't do it. I know I will come across people who will laugh at my dreams, but so be it.

    Dr. Seuss said, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

    Lots of love to you! - G

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  46. Being a writer is the hardest calling a person can have because good writing makes the craft look easy, causing Those People to believe anyone can do it. It is our lot in life as writers to fight for the right to write what must be said no matter the cost.

    You are not alone.

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  47. I believe it is fear that drives this person. I think they believe what they are saying is best for you, because they live in fear. As you can see from the comments, many of us have had these people in our lives. I have had more than one. But the key to a successful life is to find a way to turn down the volume on the naysayers. Unfortunately, they are always going to be there. You know what you want. Ignore them and go get it!

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  48. Some people just don't get it. That's what I've come to learn. I cling to those who do get it and provide me the support I need.

    I hate it when someone says (and this just happened to me the other night), "It sounds like writing is a really fun hobby for you."

    Hobby? Seriously?

    Hang in there. Hold onto those who support you and lift you up. Look at all the comments of support you have.

    Keep on writing.

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  49. So proud of you for flying above this :-)

    The thing with dreams is, they can't be quantified by somebody else. Your dreams are your dreams ... period. Keep dreaming your dreams :-)

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  50. That was beautifully written. I love that you have wings.
    There are a lot of people like that, but it hurts more when they are someone close to you.
    Most of my family view my writing as a hobby and don't understand why I take it so seriously. I figure some day they'll be surprised.

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  51. You're very courageous to stay true to yourself, I'm glad to hear it!

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  52. Fly on! Your writing is beautiful and inspiring. Listen to your Mama; she's right about your talent and potential.

    Cheers,
    Annis (www.thedaymaker.blogspot.com)

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  53. That's so sad! But I'm so happy you didn't hit the bottom. Some people just don't understand, but we can't let the dictate our lives. What is life if not to follow our dreams?

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  54. Wow that was passionate…

    What then is the wind beneath your wings?

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  55. This Person is wrong. You are one of the bloggers and aspiring authors I've looked to and admired for the longest. You have wonderful passion and perseverence. The only one that can stop you writing is you. This Person can be in the subtext of the acknowledgements of your bestselling books that reads: IN YOUR FACE!

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  56. Keep going Girl! I'm right there with you:
    http://whyiya.blogspot.com/

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  57. OMG! This same thing happened to me. I became depressed. Now, and it took some time, I'm over it and writing again. Do people - especially the ones we love and trust the most - not realize how their well-intended opinions can damage us? Do they not do at least one thing for the love of it?

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    ReplyDelete

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