At the lowest point in my career as a writer, I was 24. In the span of several months — and I swear I’m not making this up for dramatic effect — over half my client base told me they could no longer offer me contract work because “they couldn’t afford to pay me.”
Thankfully, I had a job and a place to live and I was OK. But that crushed me. More accurately, I was mad. I felt like no one valued my work or my expertise enough to pay decent money for a good writer/editor. I was trying to pay off grad school, and my blog dumped exactly $0 into my bank account every month.
I thought I’d found my purpose. And being wrong made me question everything.
Fast forward two years. I have a pretty good writing job and am hopeful for future opportunities. Then the Google Algorithm Disaster of 2018 almost cost me (and did cost many of my friends) a job. Everything changed, and I realized I wasn’t happy writing content. Again.
Months later, things are changing again — but for the better this time. Because I never stopped trying. I never looked at the mess that was my career and thought, “I’m done with this. Jusr forget it.”
I persisted. And things got better.
It gets better. It ALWAYS gets better.
Being a writer, working toward an end goal, is not an uphill slope. You will rise and you will fall. You will make progress and much of it will seem to undo itself. You will feel excited one moment and realize the next that what you hoped for — or worse, what was promised — isn’t what you’re going to get after all.
You will love your job, and you will want to quit. You will think you’re getting promoted then listen to your boss tell you your job is in danger. You will be told your pitch was good and then never hear another word about it.
You will succeed. You will fail. You will do everything right, and you will mess up.
But in the end, the end result is always worth the treacherous journey it took to get there.
I say this not because I believe it’s true, but instead because I’ve lived it. I’ve been through the worst of it. I’ve worked with terrible clients, I’ve almost had my job taken away from me because of the unfairness of the professional publishing world. I’ve been rejected. I’ve been told my dreams aren’t worth fighting for.
But I wrote through the darkest of moments, and it paid off. Because it always does, in some way or another — almost never the way you dreamed, but a way nonetheless.
Don’t you dare give up. In my experience, it’s always when you feel as though you’ve fallen as far as you can fall that someone gives you something to land on.
Work through it. Write through it. Believe you can do it, do the work, and gosh darn it, celebrate when it all works out better than you could have ever imagined. Because it will. Oh, it will. Trust me. Please.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.