Why You Should Never Let Anyone *Steal* Your Sparkle

Why You Should Never Let Anyone *Steal* Your Sparkle

Writing has always been my passion; I can remember using a typewriter (yes, I’m that old) to make my own newspaper when I was around 6 or 7 years old. Though my family has always been supportive, others around me have not.

Writing has always been my passion; I can remember using a typewriter (yes, I’m that old) to make my own newspaper when I was around 6 or 7 years old. Though my family has always been supportive, others around me have not.

When I started working full-time in an insurance office, the time I had to write grew shorter and eventually became non-existent. I’d always talk about writing, wishing I was writing, and hoping one day I could say “I’m a writer!” However, my colleagues didn’t think that was a realistic dream, as if I were saying I wanted to be an astronaut even though I’m claustrophobic and have a fear of heights.

My drive to write was always there, and one day, I decided to start up again. I was doing what I wanted to do: my dream. I remember writing a short fiction piece in the horror genre. My co-worker asked if she could read it. Keep in mind this was before “reading the comments section” was a thing you didn’t just do on the internet, so now I had a real live commenter on my work. “It’s not very good,” she said. This woman was a very well-read person so her impression threw me down a spiral of “I’m a terrible writer. Why bother?”

I eventually switched offices and, though dejected, I didn’t stop writing. My new boss was more concerned with telling me I needed to lose weight and put on a little make-up than hearing about or encouraging any of my dreams. Every night, I would write and submit. No matter if I thought it was worthy of publication or not, I needed validation that I was a good writer. Rejection after rejection plagued my inbox.

“You really need to work on your craft.”

“This isn’t really creative and you need to be more original.”

Criticism after criticism after criticism, I’d continue to write and submit.

I look back at my old work with fondness; they were very well-written pieces, and those who rejected me were just not the right fit for what I was writing. It took years before my first acceptance letter, and even more years before I was actually paid for my writing.

I think back of all the times people had said to me I was wasting my time, that being a writer is a pipe dream that’ll never happen for me, and that I should stick to office work.

I’m thrilled I had the power inside me to overcome those words. I am now a full-time writer and I couldn’t be happier. I’m in the process of writing a memoir and my shorter pieces are published almost daily on different websites.

My advice to anyone who has a dream or wants their voice to be heard: never give up. Never stop doing what your heart tells you that you need to do. There will always be critics; take their words and use them as lessons, not as something to destroy your dream and your passion. No matter what, do what you love, even if it’s for an hour a day. If something you feel strongly about eats away at you every minute, it’s important. It’s something you should continue to pursue, regardless of the hard work and blood, sweat, and tears it may cause, regardless of the people who only want to bring you down because maybe THEIR dream hasn’t been reached.

I can finally say I’m a writer. One day, maybe today, you can finally say you have accomplished your dream. If you have the passion, and the drive, no one can stifle your voice. YOU have the power.

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