Get those birthday candles out, because Three Bags of Sugar has been running for five whole years! I like to think of it as something that I will still use when I’m ninety-and-beyond, typing a up a new story just before I put on my trekking boots and head out with my big family of dogs (and yes, I will be doing that when I’m ninety, thank you very much). This blog is very much a part of me now, and I’m incredibly grateful to have it.
I was thinking about what I should write to mark the occasion. This time, I thought I’d try something just a little bit different. As you all know, I’m a writer, who has been typing away since around 2011. If you check out my “About” section, you’ll see a list of achievements I’m very proud of. What you don’t see are the list of my knock-backs and rejections. To be honest, I don’t quite think they would fit on the page… and I’d rather not crash the site, guys. I’ve had, what I like to call “almost” moments, things that seemed tangible, but then unexpectedly (but expecting it at the same time) they fall through. And that saga continues; for every “yes” I’ve had a few dozen “no’s”, and I don’t really talk about them. I never mention it. I never make announcements on my blog, or on the Twittersphere (which I struggle to use now these days; I just can’t quite keep up with the kids!), or post up my gloomy-looking face on the old Instagram. Instead, I just post up the happier things, because I figure that’s what people would rather see.
See incredibly cute example above: A happy photo you would much rather see when browsing the web
Crucially however, I do have bad days. I’ve even have bad weeks, even months… but I have learned that those days are the most valuable. They challenge me and keep me motivated, while also reminding me that writing is a huge part of my soul. Because even though I haven’t had the response I was hoping for, I don’t give up; I still think of new characters, worlds and the occasional (and ridiculously dramatic) plot twist. I still get up incredibly early to meet deadlines, and continue typing well past bedtime (don’t tell Mum). When I get knocked back, I rest for a while, let those metaphorical bruises heal and then get right back up again. So really, I’m a stronger writer, and person, for those little knocks.
Why am I writing this? It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, actor or zoologist; everyone has aspirations, and sometimes we just don’t quite reach our personal goals (at that moment in time). And that’s okay; feel a bit gloomy for a while, but please get right back up and try again.
On my last day of school, my old English Teacher gave me a little laminated poem. It’s a one that I still live by to this day, even when things seem particularly difficult. Here’s the final stanza:
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
– Unknown Writer
If you’re feeling a bit knocked-back, I hope this helps. Don’t quit, because you, my friend, are brilliant.
And that’s it! Happy Birthday, Three Bags of Sugar. Thanks for being my writing-rock.