A letter to myself, written for the WDC 'Dear Me' competition.
| Dear Me
For the last six months you have been toying with the idea of giving up. And I'm not just talking about writing.
Sometimes you need to go back to basics, remember what you are doing and why you are doing it. That time is now.
It's never all been plain sailing. There have been times before when it has become overwhelming. Remember that first site? One person was responsible for you leaving it with not the slightest of regrets. You almost gave up then, but instead found a new writing site that soon became your home-from-home.
That's not to say that it was all easy there, but you plodded on in your own steady fashion. There were the veiled death threats. Remember the crazy lady? She didn't intimidate you enough to make you leave. And then there were the 'good ol' boys' with their misogynistic
put-downs. You found the courage to hold your ground then; surely you can find the courage to get through this when the opponent is inside your own head...
You decided to take a step out and broaden your horizons. You nervously began to post on a second site, and although you are still learning and sometimes feel like curling up in a ball, like a hedgehog under threat, you are getting to grips with it. Slowly but surely, day by day.
It's only three months ago that you put your name down to take part in NaNoWriMo. Before it even began you were sure it was a mistake, but it is not in your nature to turn away from a commitment. November wasn't the best month, but it wasn't the worst either. For the first week you were on target, but then everything went bad and you were falling behind, that bit further each day. It brought you to tears on many occasions but you got a grip, gave yourself a deadline to catch up. And you finished it. So it wasn't ever going to be a best-seller or even a shelf-filler, so what? It was a challenge and you didn't give up.
Think about it. If you give up now what will you be left with? I'll tell you, shall I? Nothing! You'll be entirely isolated, and your head will get so cluttered up with random thoughts that it will have no choice but to semi shut down again. You can't afford that, you know you can't.
Go back to basics. Write what you want to write; do it for yourself and no one else. You started writing with the sole intention of putting down whatever you wanted to say, however you wanted to say it. It did not matter if anyone was going to read it afterwards; it was like twisting a valve and letting the steam escape. That's what you need to do again.
You'll write things that will make you cringe if and when you go back to read them, but you'll also write things that you'll end up feeling proud of.
You started writing as a means of survival. If you give up now it will be so much harder than it ever was before.
So go ahead. Write and survive, or just admit defeat.
From me to you, and back again.