I have a secret. You should know it. I simply can’t contain it any longer. Too many people go through life blind to this truth, this secret. It escapes their grasp, always out of reach, hidden in a shadow no one even knows is there. Only the fortunate few can look deep into that shadow and understand what truly is.
Would you like to know this secret, this thing I have grappled with for years on end? Trying to understand, to reconcile with? I trust you with this secret. This secret means everything to me. And you must know, it may change how you see the world. And there’s no easy way to say this, so I won’t beat around the bush. Hopefully you will understand someday.
The secret: Being an author is hard.
This isn’t just about writing books, though what author can survive without sitting down and writing down their thoughts? This isn’t just about sketching stories or getting writing tips or even sending off that first manuscript. An author is a creator of worlds, of characters, of ideas.
Being an author takes work—emotional, physical, mental. Creating these dear character of course takes work...but so does learning to let them go. Learning to send them off into the big wide world, not knowing if they’ll come back the same or if the neighborhood kids will be kind to them or if they took their toothbrush with them. It’s a terrifying feeling—constant worry that something could go wrong.
Watching your characters dance, play, and come to life before your eyes is as beautiful as it is terrifying. And there’s a certain beauty in doing hard things, in letting go of control. As an author, you never know—perhaps your characters will return better people. Happier than when you sent them off. Full of adventurous stories.
Hopefully, someone out there understands the bittersweet feelings that come with being a published author. For anyone out there, what is your experience? What keeps you going through hard things? I’d love to hear your thoughts!