“I will be an author,” I declared as a 9 year old. Did anybody take me seriously? I doubt it. At the time, I planned to be an artist, and actress, and a witch. Oh, and date Harry Potter.
“I will be an author,” I repeated as a 13 year old. “But writing is very hard,” my Polish teachers told me, “you need a lot of knowledge“. ‘Ok,’ I thought to myself, ‘I will become a librarian when I am an adult. In this way, I will be able to read many books and maybe write one.”
“I will be an author,” I told my father as a 16 year old. “An author? Yes, you can be an author, but you are not going to earn on it. Get a more realistic job.” I felt hurt by these words, but I kept writing nevertheless.
“I have become an author,” I thought to myself as a 21 year old, when I wrote and published my first novel in a vanity press. “M. R. Foti hides behind a pen name, but this won’t save her,” wrote one of my readers, “she is a mediocre author“.
“I am a failed author,” I believed as a 22 year old. I didn’t have any audience, hasn’t sold a single copy of my first novel in 10 months, and my second novel was rejected by all publishers. “If I give up, it’s going to break my heart. I’m already broken by life. I can’t give up on my dream to be a writer, I can’t, no matter what,” I told myself.
“I’m either gonna succeed as an author, or die trying,” I decided as a 23 year old. I started reading blogs by Joanna Penn, Jeff Goins and Michal Stawicki. I actually wrote an e-mail to Michal Stawicki, who kindly replied and encouraged me to try my luck on Amazon. I stopped waiting for traditional publishers to acknowledge me and let go of the “paperback-in-libraries” dream. I started writing in English, committed to building an international audience, and launched Always Inspired Writing.
“You will be famous one day,” I heard as a 24 year old. “You have so much talent. I am sure that you are going to make it. You just need time. Keep writing, because you must write, there is no other way for you.“
So what to do when nobody believes in your writing dream?
Believe in it yourself.
If you check my social media, or even this blog, you’ll see that I always like my own posts. I am my own fan, and I will always be.
It really doesn’t matter what age you are, or how good you are at writing, or how bad. The only thing that matters is how bad you want it. If you want it really bad, you will structure your whole life so that you can work for it. And once you work for it persistently and ignore your failures, you will start succeeding.
There were so many people that didn’t believe in me. My friends, my teachers, even my husband. “You know,” he told me one evening, “in the beginning, I didn’t quite believe in your writing. But after I’ve met you, and saw how dedicated you were… I changed my mind. I am waiting for you to succeed, and I wish you all the best.”
When I was younger and somebody didn’t believe in me, I was sad and doubted myself. But then, then I thought, “Screw you. I’m gonna show you. I’m gonna show everyone. You don’t believe in me? Just wait and see.”
If you read the Ultimate Manifester, where I am much more personal than on Always Inspired Writing, you’ll learn that I’ve been fighting depression for 7 years. It started at age 17 and never actually went away. When you are depressed for so long, it really shapes you and your way of thinking. Why am I telling you so suddenly about this in here?
Because I want you to know, that it wasn’t easy for me to believe in myself, others and the world in general. If you knew me personally, you’d know I always have tons of doubts and question everything that I’m told. But I cared about writing so much, that I just forced myself to believe in it unconditionally.
With time, my writing dream became stronger than my depression.
There are days when I’m swimming in total darkness. But I still get up, wash my face, dress up, eat. I know I have to keep going. For the people around me, and for the writing dream. When the electric lights of my soul go out, my writing dream is like a spare candle, which makes everything brighter.
I know that there will be low sales, bad reviews, hateful comments and other nightmares. But, the love for my characters and their stories is giving me strength, and pushing me to do what I can each and every day.
Your writing dream is a small seed with the potential to grow into a powerful tree.
For this reason, you must take care of it. Water it regularly, fight pests and protect it from cold. Why? Because if you let others step on your writing dream, and trust that it’s never going to come true, you will finally stop believing in it and let it go.
Sometimes I’m walking quietly in the desert, when hounds of depression appear out of nowhere. I’m running away to my tree, and climb it. I am not powerless anymore; for the strength of my tree is with me.
Your writing dream has the potential to shield you from reality, and sometimes, we need that more than anything else. For this reason, ignore the people who don’t believe in your writing dream, and help it grow into something amazing.
I hope this helps, stay inspired.