Never ever ever ever give up

I have a folder hidden deep in my Gmail called "queries." It should just be called "rejections" because in over 200 emails there isn't a single piece of good news. Every short story I've ever submitted to a literary magazine has been rejected. I've written four books for which every agent query I sent out came back with a thanks but no thanks message.

It grates at the soul. I've Googled "should I quit writing?" at least a half-dozen times. But the problem is that I can't quit. And neither should you. Part of the reason I decided to pursue indie publishing was because I felt like I had fun stories to tell that would connect with an audience, but no one would take a chance on me. So I took at chance on myself.

This isn't to say that I never get down. I do sometimes. But this inspiration keeps me going:

In this house, we stan Belcalis. Cardi B has been down nine times but she gets up 10. Dust yourself off and keep pressing forward.

The truth is that being a writer is the only thing I've ever wanted, since I was a small child. I have notebooks filled with stories and ideas, starting with tragic X-Files fan fiction I wrote in the sixth grade. Being a storyteller is etched into my identity. If I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I'd still be writing. (Albeit from a much more exciting locale.)

So I'm setting out on my own and trying things out as an independent author. I don't need someone else's permission to be a writer. I'm doing it on my own.

I'm not giving up and either should you. Don't quit your dreams. Keep writing. I will be.

© 2019 by Joni Harrison