It started out rough. I haven’t written anything creative in such a long time it felt like my entire brain had turned to rust. I could almost hear the gears in my head creak.

The first chapter, I wasn’t sure if it would work out. But I tried anyways and pushed pass my own discouragement. I didn’t worry about style. I focused on introducing the characters and setting up the world. 

The second chapter was a bit easier and felt a bit more fluid but I tripped a little over the words. I worried about the conversations and characters interactions, and I feared that it was dragging.

I wrote the third chapter twice and liked the second one more. I consoled myself several times. Told myself, “take it slow or the story would suffer and become boring.”

On the fourth chapter, I started to feel muddled and was unsure where the story was headed. I had a clear destination in my head, but the journey to get there was winding. However, by the time I reached the end I was filled with excitement. “Ah,” I thought, “this is what I’ve been missing.”

I was sitting on the couch and I said out loud, “This is what I want to do.”

My roommate had asked what, and I gestured to my computer screen filled with words. Words I had put there. Words I hunted down and patiently corralled into sentences. Not entirely neat, but that would come with time.

Instantly, all the negativity that has been rumbling around in my head and in my heart vanished. My chest felt lighter, and my excitement bubbled over. I’m the creator and the excited reader all rolled into one. The joy of telling a story and the joy of reading it are the same. I feel invested in the characters and imagine other readers feeling the same.

I’ve started to squash the voice in my head that asked if others will like it. “They will,” I said, “but I can’t keep seeking everyone’s approval. I have to be happy and others will follow. They’ll be just as excited as me because happiness is contagious.”

And if there are haters, I’ll listen. I’ll dissect their words and find their real meaning. They said it for a reason, and at the end, if it turns out they’re just trolls I’ll cross the bridge anyways.

Every writer and artist struggles. 

They fight and they push.

We’re moody and sometimes unruly.

But we’re passionate and determined.

And that’s what’ll bring success and help overcome the obstacles between us and our goals.