Dear Unpublished Karyn,
I wish I could give you a big hug.
But I also want to share a laugh with you.
Because you have no idea that this crazy old publishing journey is going to take many, many more years than you think it will.
But please don’t worry, because you will come out the other side smiling.
You’re going to make so many mistakes. You will send first drafts of your work out on submission. Yes. You do that. (Once you recover from the embarrassment, you’ll laugh, but it takes a while.)
You’re going to ride the highs of great feedback and the lows of rejection. You’re going to cry many tears and feel like giving up on this dream. You will write through your pregnancies, having newborns and toddlers and sometimes wonder why you spend all your precious spare time on this writing dream.
As your children get older, so will you. And you will realise that getting published doesn’t actually matter. It never has.
You will finally understand that writing is your way of understanding this world. It’s your creative outlet that brings you joy.
Writing allows you to feel magic and experience the thrill of a story idea downloading, fully formed in your mind. Writing is your connection to something else, something far bigger than yourself (although you haven’t yet found words to explain it).
Eventually, you will shift your focus from getting published to enjoying the writing process and feeling grateful that you have the luxury of exploring this gift. And as you shift into this new, relaxed perception of writing – it happens. You are published. Twice. And it’s wonderful and scary and vulnerable all wrapped into one.
You will feel proud and enjoy hearing from readers who have connected to your work. You’ll want to hide as you wait for reviews. You’ll smile and feel deep relief when you read great ones and cringe a little at the bad ones. Mostly though, you will keep feeling grateful for the gift of being able to write. And in all the areas that it matters, life will feel very much the same once you’re published.
So, hang in there – because even though it takes a very long time it couldn’t have been any other way – you have many lessons left to learn, that only this journey will teach you.
Karyn Sepulveda is an author, podcast producer and creator of short, guided meditations. Through writing about characters triumphing over adversity, interviewing women about their strengths and designing meditations that help the listener tap into their own creativity, Karyn hopes to spread compassion and connection. Her latest book is The Women’s Circle.
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