A couple days ago, I was sitting here minding my own business and got a message in my Facebook group. I had to get up and go sit outside for a little while to let my feels level out after I read it.
“I don’t mean to hit you in the feels, but I have to share this with you and the community. My brother hates books, hates reading. He’s always had trouble with it, and he always felt like books were a world (really many worlds) he was locked outside of.
There are *so many* great stories out there waiting to be experienced, so many worlds waiting to spring to life. This guy's never gotten so hung up in a book that the world around him disappears for hours at a time…he’s never lived in another person's head for weeks…he’s never been able to say "The book was better than the movie" or geek out with another fan over a heartbreaking character death... *and he can do that now.* He knows what that's like now. Dimensional double vision: there’s constantly another reality under the thin veneer of this one, a soul-built multiverse of words only visible through the dirty lens of your skull.
That third eye opened in a dude’s mind *because of something I wrote.* That is utterly phenomenal. That’s the kind of thing that tells me I chose the right path by coming back to writing again and actually going through with it. There’s days when I don’t trust my footing in the dark house of my confidence that I need to go back and know this again.
I'm proud of Devin for choosing to pick up a book after all this time and stick with it to the end. I’m also proud of Sarah for supporting his interests by giving him a book…there should be more sisters and mothers and brothers and fathers in this world to further their siblings’ and children’s interests like that. I didn’t really have that growing up, and I wish I had.
And I'm proud of that guy I was 800,000 words ago, that desperate stupid heartbroken guy that thought he was cranking out garbage and did the work anyway. If it wasn't for that guy, I wouldn't be this guy now. If it weren’t for the therapeutic leylines running alongside my creative currents, maybe I wouldn’t be here at all.
So if you're reading this and you're a writer—or any kind of creative, really—don't give up.
Don't be afraid of letting people read what you've written, or see what you’ve painted. If you pour your heart and soul into it, someone will be affected by what you’ve written. If you build it, someone will come. (But you still have to build it. You can’t live in a blueprint. Write write write. Write all of the words.)
It is said that the first draft of everything is shit. It is shit. But keep pushing. The final draft might just give somebody out there something they never had before.