Last year, my sweet friend Erin Bowman posted about a letter she’d written to herself before her first books sold. She’d used a cool site called FutureMe, which allows you to scribble a letter to your future self and schedule it to arrive in your inbox a year or so later. At the time, Erin’s post was pretty inspiring to me. When I read it, I was in a pretty low place, and I decided a letter to my own future self might be therapeutic.
Today, one year later, that letter arrived. Here’s what PastMe had to say to PresentMe:
I know you’re scared. I know you feel like this roller coaster ride is just a series of heartbreaking plunges. The black hole of silence while you’re out on submission. The rejections. The ‘I was thisclose but failed again’ despair.
I’m scared, too. I’m worried that you’re going to quit writing. So listen up. After this next setback, you’ve got to pick yourself up (yes, again!) and rally. Don’t let yourself mope and cry for more than a day. Open that laptop and start something new . Or something old. Or something weird. Whatever. Just get writing.
You’ve come too far to give up on all your dreams. Please, please, please wipe those eyes and try again. If you do…one day, you’ll thank me.
Today, as I read this, my eyes are tearing up for a whole set of different reasons. Good reasons. Joyful reasons. I needed PastMe to kick herself in the pants and keep going. She did, and I’m so glad.
I share this with you, because maybe you’re at the end of your rope. Or maybe you’re almost there, but you just don’t have the heart to keep chasing your dreams anymore. Maybe it’s too heartbreaking. Maybe you’ve all but given up, and the creeping doubt has gotten out of control, and it’s nothing less than a 300 lb. gorilla on your back. If that’s the case, write yourself a letter. Then get back to work.
Write another book. Paint another picture. Sing another song. Get back on the road to wherever it is you’re going. Do it. Your FutureMe will thank you.