I’m not at home and don’t have my journal with me but have the urge to journal so I’m writing a blog instead (If you don’t journal, why not use 2015 as an excuse to start! The FreePeople blog as a great post on journaling that you should definitely check out. It even poses a few writing prompts!). I’m sitting down to write this and it’s dreadfully cold where I am; my shirt sleeves are also wet because I accidentally got them wet while washing my hands so I’m bundled up under three blankets and a big, comfy, slightly-wet sweatshirt and feeling frigid and a little down.

Here are my thoughts for the moment. They come to me in the stream of a heavy weight, and I’m trying to pull them out and peel them off of me so I can get thinking on more exciting things.

I know I’m a novice. I am unpublished. I am unexperienced (relatively). Yet I don’t think I really felt like a novice until now. I am navigating a path that I have no clue how to navigate and have no close mentors who have taken a similar path who can offer me their wisdom. I gain wisdom from many writers, yes, but I do feel making a career as a writer is a bit different now in the logistics sides of things than it used to be (of course, you have to write and write and write and finish and edit and write more, but the details of getting published are a bit murkier today). I think why I successfully continue on with this path is because I don’t stop and take the time to think how hard this is, because then I wouldn’t do it. But today is one of those days, and I’m thinking about it.

I think this stage, the first break-in, the first drop in the ocean, is the hardest. For when I submit my stories to sites and anthologies and contests, I look at the winners, and scroll through their publishing accolades, and wonder how someone like me, someone who lacks publishing history, can ever hope to be picked up from the non “editor acquired from” slush pile.

Well, I do know how. I have to be really, really, really *$&^ing good.

I know I’m not quite there yet.

I am a little fish in an enormous pond.

Whether it’s my own naiveté, my bad/different taste (I do think I have good taste, in my own defense!), or my own evolutionary drive for promoting myself, I read many things and think “I make better things.” Of course, I also read many other things and think, “Yes, this is way better than what I do.” So it’s this balance of cockiness and humbleness that I think will get me through…  I believe in myself, but I know there is still work, years of work, for me left to do.