Solidarity, and a hug from the Universe

As I’ve discussed before in other diatribes, I suffer from a pretty robust case of writer doubt and I don’t really have any answers about where it came from.  I mean, when I was a child, you could not have talked me out of the idea that I was the Next Big Thing.  It’s sort of stunning how massive my ego was when I was, say, eleven.  Especially when I consider that by the second semester of my freshman year at ASU, I was swearing I’d given up writing fiction because I had no talent for it.

But I’m not here to engage in another one of those moment of self-pity over my uncertainties.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  This is one of those moments when the universe noticed that I was lost inside the struggle to recognize the relevance of my work, and gave me not just a pat on the back but a full hug.

And really, I’ve been complimented on my writing before.  For some reason, it never seems to stick.  Probably some element of me being unable to fully accept a reality that doesn’t originate within myself, and so as long as I maintain these doubts, they’ll keep springing up from the garden of my imagination no matter how many times I whack them down.  This, though.  What I’ve experienced this week.  This has been something entirely new for me.  I shared a deeply personal piece of writing with strangers, expecting to meet with the usual wall of apathy my work seems to provoke, but instead I have met with an almost overwhelming surge of love, recognition, and solidarity.  Messages offering profound thanks that I had expressed feelings they’d been struggling to name in themselves.  Telling me how I had moved them.

This.  This is all I’ve ever wanted as a writer.  People felt what I was saying.  That it took feelings inspired by someone else’s character to produce this response isn’t even relevant.  The relevant thing here is that I’ve never had this before, and I can’t find the words to express how grateful I am for the sense of connectedness I’ve been experiencing this week with the people who shared my writing with me.

What I’m trying to say is thank you.

I needed that.