I’ve often heard it said that great writing comes from sadness and heartache. Numerous authors, producing what became great works of fiction, were thought of as tormented artists. Through their works they expressed the grief or madness so present in their everyday lives. Edgar Allen Poe is one of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon. Another is Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Her well known short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is one of my all time favorites. It is a journey through a woman’s battle with mental illness, and the way her husband’s ignorance contributes to her spiral into madness. If you’ve never read it check it out: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/wallpaper.html
While I fully buy into this theory, and the proven results of literary genius, I believe happiness and joy lend to great writing equally. Although, perhaps in different ways. The journey to becoming a published writer is difficult, and at times downright depressing. But, when I become impatient with the process or doubtful of my abilities I am renewed by the people around me. As with most things, a solid support system is invaluable. I have this support system through close family and friends. When I have a day where I feel like shredding my manuscript and recycling my computer, I only have to call one of them to be reminded that all good things come through hard work.
If you are trying to climb that seemingly impossible publishing mountain, I encourage you to find your motivator. Following a dream can feel like jumping off a cliff, but like most adrenaline sports, the fun can’t begin until you jump.
Thank you to all of my motivators!