To all aspiring writers out there: remain hopeful!
I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t dreaming of writing professionally, writing for a living. I started playing with words the moment I learned how to speak. And yet, for the past 15 years I barely did any serious creative writing at all. An article or travelogue here and there, at best. A poem on my website. I was too busy raising kids, earning my keep; I got sidetracked.
And then, this spring, at the end of two years of pandemic anguish, battling long Covid, a third burnout and a family crisis, my inner writer started to howl. She wouldn’t be silenced. She would not be ignored anymore. She was trying to heal me.
I set out on a quest to put my thoughts in writing. I switched from poetry to prose, took a Creative Writing class from the University of Oxford and got serious about submitting my work. It turns out all those years of getting sidetracked and thwarted had really helped me find my voice. I knew stuff about human nature now that I didn’t know before. I had done tons of reading in lockdown, confronted aggression and anger (mine and other people’s), rediscovered love and patience, and had a meltdown of emotion. I had things to say, things to write about.
So I embarked on a mission to get them read, evaluated and – dare I hope? – published. It was costly at first, both in terms of money and effort, and it felt futile at times. Impostor syndrome reared its ugly head. But I had the support of my loved ones. I gave myself a year. And what a year 2022 has been! For starters, I sent out my work to 44 different magazines, publishing houses, and literary competitions. At first, all I cashed were rejections. 17 of them, to be exact. But then, when I least expected it, something happened. Someone liked my story and Soil got published in The Write Launch in June 2022. Barely a month later, another piece, Fish, won second place in the 2022 Writer Advice Flash Fiction Contest. And a week later, a third story, Yore, was longlisted by the Yeovil Literary Prize.
Did I feel elated? For a couple of minutes. What I felt was the energy to keep trying, the courage to talk about it, and the quiet satisfaction of having a brain and a voice, a heart, a gift, a craft.
Which you have, too. It’d be a shame to give up on them now.
P.S. My next projects? An English-language travel guide for my hometown of Timisoara, European Capital of Culture 2023, has already been published on Amazon, and I am working on a novella and several novels, in both English and Romanian. 🙂
#creative #writing #literature #shortprose #nonfiction #longprose
MAY 2023 BRING US ALL WONDERFUL THINGS!