This is a Low Point

4:51 a.m. today.

I got my Wordle in 4 guesses.

I check my email to find a message from a flash fiction submission. It is my fourth rejection email in two days, for poetry and short stories.

My mood is not good this morning. Recently I have been seriously considering giving up. I talk about it a little in The Creative Moment podcast, “The Idea of Success”.  That was a couple weeks ago, now this morning, I feel like giving up the dream.

I can’t give up writing, that is who I am. Poetry is the way I think. I will continue to jot down ideas on scraps of paper. Compose verses in notebooks. But the dream of being known as a poet, as a writer is fading. 

Now, I know this is where people would give all kinds of motivational quotes and stories of authors who published their first book in their sixties. I know all of that. I know Stephen King’s story about his wife digging the story “Carrie” out of the trash. (Yes, I know he was an English teacher, too).

But this is a low point. Everyone has them. And low points are powerful moments. Maybe choices shouldn’t be made at this point, but we shouldn’t discard the emotions and self-evaluation that comes at these moments. 

Questions / thoughts I have to work through:

I might not be a good writer or poet.

Maybe I’m not spending enough time on my craft.

Maybe I’m not spending enough time promoting my works.

What are my goals regarding my writing career?

Feelings come and go. Right now, I feel defeated. I am at a low spot. But it doesn’t mean this moment can’t be a positive for me or for anyone that is at a similar point in life. A low point doesn’t feel good, but if you see it as an opportunity to self-reflect, prioritize goals, and spend a little time working with the moment, you might find you can climb higher tomorrow.


Filed under Life

5 responses to “This is a Low Point

  1. Hey – I’m NOT going to tell you “all kinds of motivational quotes and stories of authors who published their first book in their sixties.” But – keep going. It’s in you❤️

  2. We’ve all been where you are, Jamey. Don’t despair. You’ve got your priorities right, and your family will be a greater legacy than any literary corpus we might leave behind.

    I think your final question is the place to begin. What are your goals? I prefer modest goals, that are possible to attain. Sometimes, for my writing especially, I’ve had especially humble goals. This is usually due to the other demands I’m experiencing in life.

    Readers are subjective, and out of the world’s population, the fourteen million who would measure you among the world’s greatest authors will probably never stumble upon your work. But I sincerely believe they exist.

    You write well, and have a valuable message. Sadly, in the glut of data that assails literate people, that will never be enough. If you find writing enjoyable in any way, enjoy the intrinsic reward and try not to become disillusioned along the way.

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave a reply. Part of the situation is that my goals are changing as my children are growing into different stages. My youngest is now in third grade, so I’m find more time for my writing. For along time my main focus was being a dad, then my job, and then writing. My life is shifting. A good time to reevaluate things.

      Thank you for the encouraging comments!

  3. Thank you for your candor. I too share the darkness or whatever. I’m glad you keep going. We pull the thread. 🖤

    • Yes, we do. Soon, you will need to share how the thread quote came to be for you… This last Monday I had my students share a quote / mantra they have and its history for them.

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