I’ve been thinking.
When I was 11, I remember saying that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a lot of things. A writer, a fashion designer, a singer/songwriter, an actress. But when I turned 13 I realized I liked singing and I liked acting, but I didn’t want to do those things for a living. I much rather stay at home and make stuff and make stuff up.
So 15 years ago I got serious about wanting to be a writer. I started writing novels, getting feedback. I still wanted to be a fashion designer, but only on the side, when I wasn’t writing. And I figured my song lyrics would make it into the movies based on the books I was writing.
My junior year in high school, when I realized I was going to college and would need a major, I looked at fashion (even though I’ve never been into fashion) and I looked at writing. How to choose? I could always make stuff for myself. I could always write for myself. But sewing as a hobby was fine for me. Or I could not sew at all and I would be perfectly fine. But the thought of not writing was unthinkable. I can go years without sewing or drawing and barely even think about it. But when I’m not writing I’m still thinking about it every single day.
I choose writing at age 17…and I have regretted it ever since.
Not because I don’t love it. I regret it because as a job, it sucks. The hours are long. The work is under valued. And I slave away to produce a shiny product that only me and maybe one or two other people ever see.
So I’m thinking…when is it time to stop writing and do something else? After 50 rejections? After 250? After 500? At some point, I have to realize that it’s just not going to happen.
This is what I’m trying to decide now: the point at which I give up and dedicate myself to doing something less fulfilling with my life. Because, lucky submission number 3, 7, 11, 21…it doesn’t exist.