Things happen when you stumble upon Facebook on a Friday night. Things like J August Richards talking about acting and not giving up even in the darkest place.
It resonates so much. I have lost count of the tears, the anxiety, the questions about my abilities as a writer. I am a worrier. Worse, I doubt myself, on a daily basis. It’s a rhythm, a sad dance with myself that never, never ends. Earlier this year, when I passed my exam and realised that, yes, paid journalism was way harder than expected, I almost gave up. I went back to an office, worked hard, took extra hours and basically kissed my teenager dreams of arty magazines and in-depths features goodbye.
But I kept writing.
It would have been easy to ditch everything. After all, I just spent ten years of my life chasing a dream. Like J, I went from highs (in my case, some money, projects) to lows (choices, unemployment, massive disappointments). My doubts became heavier and heavier, until they became a path. Did I chase the wrong dream, the wrong way? I will never know. But I probably won’t have a big career as a journalist.
I am still in an office. I am taking more responsibilities (the good old “grown-up” thing). I find other ways to distract myself. But I keep writing.
It always comes back to writing. An idea pops in my head. A compliment about a story, or a book download. An article read, shared and commented. Some writing tests that have gone very well… Everytime I tell myself the dream is over, there’s always the tiniest thing that tells me to not give up now, because the best is yet to come.
J August Richards had a scene that touched him and prompted him to share his story. I have his story to remind myself that I am a hero too, in my own way, for not giving up.
I may not be the most prolific or the most talented out there.
But I’ll keep writing.