I am not sure if everyone in the world feels emotions as I do. Or experiences anything the way I do. How can we be sure that one person’s experience of a rainbow or the flickering light of a candle is really the same?
I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. Yet as a race we agree to an understanding of the experience of certain emotions, despite knowing that there are shades of experience in between.
We all know happy.
We all know anger.
It is due to this knowing, that I ask if you have ever felt a deep sense of certainty that overrides all else in any given moment?
It is a feeling of unshakable, undeniable certainty towards a situation or experience.
I know I do and have done ever since I was very young. Yet now that I am (unavoidably) an adult, I am having this sensation much more frequently. It is at moments of this overwhelming concrete knowledge that I understand the extent of my limitations as a writer, as I fail to infer an emotion to you. This certainty roots itself in my chest. As strongly as I know that I am alive, as palpably as I can feel my heartbeat, I know this certainty to correct.
From the first time I recognised that words were all I needed in life to feel completely Jen, I felt a certainty that I would succeed within this arena.
I know, I will someday experience people enjoying my words on a far larger scale than now. It is a given. A truth. The truest narrative of my life, that this success will be mine.
This knowledge is not rooted in a belief that I was born special, but rather a belief that I was born with the useful combination of ambition and action. I walk my talk and will never stop working for this goal.
Ideas are useless and execution is key.
What good is this knowledge of my success, without the putting in the hours/years to see it come to fruition?
Recently, I started to write a new novel, having completed my first one and redrafted it completely. 120000 words done twice, and it’s far from perfect. When I spoke about this new novel with some fellow writer friends of mine they asked me an extremely valid question that struck me in the midst of my excitement at a new project. Why? Why write another book during the final and most stressful year of my undergrad degree when my first one isn’t even published?
The answer is thus: Querying for a literary agent takes a monumental amount of time, and receiving replies takes even longer – sometimes up and beyond six months. Whilst having received some promising replies from some agents within the first few weeks, one truly stuck out to me. An agent I have admired from a distance in the industry for many years, replied to my email personally, overriding her assistant. She wrote to me to tell me that didn’t accept books of my genre anymore but was impressed with my writing style. She told me that if I ever wrote any other book of a different genre for me to remember her email and that she was rooting for me to find my way back to her.
In the next few months, I may receive an acceptance for an agent for that initial novel that was my life. Perhaps more than one, who knows? Yet should I not want to be ready to return to the one agent who has expressed an interest in me when I know that I am worth that interest?
I am hungry for literary success. So hungry that that I will be patient.
If you want your dream badly enough, you will make it your every breath. If you are unwilling to maintain the grind that it takes to do this, you simply do not want it enough.
I do twenty-six hours of college in four days. Between the hours of nine until six, I am consumed with classes. After that, I have college work to do for another four hours, minimum. Yet this is not my love. This is my occasional ‘like’ and this is not where my future will reside.
For months I told myself that writing, that I claim is my everything, could wait until my degree was done. Then one morning I was brushing my teeth and I caught sight of myself in the mirror and really looked. It was time to speak the truth;
I am a grade A bullshitter and excuse maker. I was willing to wait for my everything, my way of breathing and sanity, in order to complete my college degree which I do not even fully like half of the time.
It was time to call myself out and realise that if I didn’t have time for my passion and dream, then I shouldn’t have time for Netflix and ten-hours of sleep a night too. I was making so much time for other people’s narrative through reading books and watching Netflix that I was willing to throw my own under the bus.
It was time to grind and to rearrange. I can sacrifice sleep because my dream is worth more. I need to succeed like I need to breathe and it was time to start acting like it.
I am blessed. I’ve won the lotto of life. To live as a privileged female of the a developed country where I am in charge of my choices. It would be a disservice to those girls and woman who have much, much less to use my every advantage.
And so, every night that I finished college work and assignments at ten, I am only beginning my writing day. Sometimes one, two or three in the morning vanish until my word count clocks up at least over two thousand new words.
Short stories, poetry, newspaper articles, the new novel – I was utilising my time to walk my talk. Pontificating, fantasizing and hoping are passive. Only action is active.
There is no time for doubt, and no room for fear. Within those hours, I am exceptional at what I do – unstoppable even. In fact, I am writing this at half past four in the morning. I’ve woken up with a stomach ache and I know that I won’t be able to sleep for another hour or so. I could read, or I could hustle – there is no longer a question on what I do anymore.
I am now living my morals, my true narrative.
What good is a certain knowledge that you can make it and your ambitions will be realised when all you do sit around with those with similar dreams and talk about what you will be one day?
We are young. We don’t feel too panicked with achieving our dreams just yet, not when we have a lot of life left to live. Yet, time borrows time, and regret mounts each year.
It’s time to place all of your chips on your talent and show your hand.
Stop lying to yourself. Accept that you are full of false excuses and jealousies towards those who are ahead. Accept and change.
The early mornings, late nights and working through sicknesses is the real difference between setting yourself up to be the winning player at every table and the losing player.
Don’t call someone inspirational when they are doing what you are capable of too. They’re not inspirational, but motivated. The difference is huge and defines what you will think of as a regret when you wake up on your last day on this earth.
It’s time to join the grind, and cut the bullshit.