This may be a cliche topic, but I think it’s important to realize and hold onto why you started doing something in the first place. I write because I have always written. I got my first computer when I was six years old. I spent as much time in the word processor as I did playing any of the games the computer came with. I used to tell stories at the lunch table, friends and strangers alike gathering around to hear what weird stuff I’d come up with next. I have the need to tell stories.
Words have always been a solace to me, especially written ones. Writing has always been my way of processing everything around me, both good and bad. I deal with my problems via writing. I document my high points via writing. It’s as essential and second-nature as breathing. For a long time, I didn’t realize that other people didn’t work the same way I did; it wasn’t until my seventh grade English teacher pulled me aside that I realized my writing made me unique and was the path I should choose to follow.
I have never once doubted my ability to write and create. I have many doubts and insecurities about myself, but writing has never, not even for a moment, been included in those. I think that’s something worth holding onto–something that gives me confidence in a world of self-doubt. When I was in eleventh grade, a boy in my Spanish class scoffed at me when I said I wanted to become a writer–he actually laughed out loud at me in front of the class. That moment has stuck with me, not because it was painful but because it has provided me with so much motivation over the years. I can’t wait until the day I can prove him wrong… it will be delicious.
I know spite shouldn’t be a prime motivation, but it’s definitely there for me as a last-resort when I start to wonder and agonize about these query letters. I see his face and know that, someday, he will have to feel stupid about being a condescending asshole, and that’s literally all I need.
If anyone has ever told you you couldn’t do the thing you love, take that negative energy and turn it into fuel. The energy they spent hating you is energy you can use to prove them wrong. It’s a beautiful thing. Don’t let anything hold you back… use it to push you forward into bigger, better, more brilliant things.