Maybe the paths that you each shall tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them.
— Lady Galadriel, LOTR
Becoming an attorney is hard. Becoming an author is hard. I know. Duh! Both are obvious points.
For everyone, I imagine the degree of the struggle varies. Let me start by saying, I am not trying to say my own struggle is any better or worse than anyone else’s. It’s just mine and my own experiences.
Just becoming an attorney has it’s own challenges. I think attempting a professional career, doctor or lawyer, when you come from a low-middle class background with a single parent household, is already rolling a boulder uphill. The cost of higher education is astronomical. I was lucky enough to earn several scholarships for my private school college education and obtained scholarship for half of my law school education. Still, my student loan debt is massive.
On top of the cost of such an endeavor, I had very little in the way of a positive support system. My own grandparents believed it is a sin for a woman to work and numerous times my grandfather would say, “This isn’t realistic. You’ll never succeed.” I even had teachers discourage me, who believed, despite my perfect grades, I would never become a lawyer. It was simply too ‘fancy’ for a eastern Appalachian girl. To make matters worse, my ex-husband became jealous of every milestone and success I achieved. Of course, my parents supported me and encouraged me, as well as a few teachers along the way. But, there was so much “me against the world.” Then, in law school I had major emergency exploratory surgery. My grandfather told me, while I was still in the hospital bed, “You might as well quit.” I think I graduated law school, in the very top of my class, just to spite him. I never gave up. I never surrendered to the negative. Now, that I think about, maybe that’s why I became a public defender, I thrive as the underdog. Life knocks me down, I come back up swinging.
So, I suppose, there are those around me who think, “She’ll never be published.” But, I keep on doing things no one ever thought I could. I keep surprising people. Through great physically adversity with major spine issues, I keep up with my daytime career as lawyer, while being an amazing stepmother, loving wife, avid gamer, and still find time to write.
There are times I have doubts. They sneak in between the cracks and all the negative voices of my life bleed through my defenses. Can I do this? What are the odds of a publisher picking me up? If I do decide to self publish, who will read my book? Even this blog, who cares what a fancy hillbilly has to say about anything? Then, I remember all the things I’ve done in my life, that people told me were impossible, and I realize (as cliche as it is) that dreams do come true. So, there you have it world, I’ll keep facing whatever comes my way and I will succeed.
The struggle is real. The rewards are worth it. Keep calm and write on!