At the start of the year, I was dismissed from a fairly new job that I had been really excited about, and I fell into a mini downward spiral.
I stopped believing in myself for a little while. And I floundered, a little. I started to wonder what, if anything, I was good at—why I wasn’t of value to anyone. My boyfriend’s voice told me I was important to him. He also told me I was a good mother.
And he told me that I was a good writer.
I write. All the time. But he thought that I was good at it.
I have always been a writer. I poured my teenage angst into poetry. I just didn’t tell anyone. The younger me certainly didn’t think my poems would be of value to or of interest to anyone else.
I kept what he had said in my heart, and one day, soon after I put myself back together, I decided to submit a piece of writing to Elephant Journal. Why not?
I’ve always loved reading Elephant Journal articles. I find many that I resonate with—articles about yoga, healthy living, alternative remedies, travel, love, fear, anxiety, and the open addressing of mental illnesses and sexuality.
Each topic is untangled with love in an open and mindful way, and I have lost and found myself many times here.
I had thought about submitting before, but something always told me that I wasn’t good enough—I guess that was fear. Arranging my thoughts into words on a page is easy for me. Editing them in preparation to display to the world, airing my inner world into the spotlight of other people’s opinions, is another story. I find it really hard.
This time, though, I decided to just do it. As I get older, I care less and less about what other people think.
I wrote an article about my struggles with jealousy. I edited it, again and again. I submitted it and held my breath.
Then, nothing happened.
I thought to myself it wasn’t good enough. I had tried though.
I had tried.
I accepted the fact that it wouldn’t go any further. And then, a few days later, I was checking my emails and saw one from Elephant Journal.
My article had been published.
I was happy. No. Actually, I was amazed. I shared and shared my article. I asked all my friends to read it and comment. It got to number 14 in the ecosystem ranking. Number 14, out of so many.
I submitted another and another and they all got published.
My sixth article got into the top 10 and was a winning piece. Any top 10 article gets a payout, so this was a huge thing. For the first time ever, I got paid for my writing.
I was good at something.
But this was not just about money. It was about self-belief. And given the subject of the article that gave me my first win, it’s poignant—because that article was about self-doubt.
As I write this, I’ve written seven winning articles. The highest ranking one got to number three. It is a work in progress, but I’ve climbed up the ladder.
I have not written any books—yet.
My poetry is unknown—so far.
My articles are getting published though.
It doesn’t matter how many followers I have. It doesn’t matter if no one sees the hidden meanings in my poetry. It doesn’t matter if my articles don’t reach thousands of people or if people don’t like my words, or how I arrange them on the page.
This is what I do. I write. This is who I am.
I am not a teenager anymore. I’m braver now. I’m not too old to start from the beginning. I have time to go somewhere.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis
My name is Linda, and I am a writer.
Elephant Journal is changing. The rise of social media giants means independent media is being pushed further and farther into the background. The mysterious algorithms behind our big tech friends are no longer supportive of sharing external links—making it much harder than it was to get our articles seen, as they do not have priority on your newsfeed. Sadly, I don’t think they want to be our friend anymore.
The company is struggling, and a few days ago, had to lay off most of its editorial team, and cut back on the payouts to writers. A lot less articles will be published now, and it will be a lot harder to get into that elusive spotlight.
If you want to support this independent media platform, and support writers like me, please think about sharing my articles, following me, or even subscribing to the platform.
“When you support an independent business or individual, you’re not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college.” ~ Anonymous
Thank you to everyone who is supporting me on this journey.
Thank you to Elephant Journal, for supporting me with this platform.