This originally appeared on Jen Winters is an Indie AuthorI was going through a rough patch where I wasn’t seeing anything happening, but saw success for every other author around me.

I am writer
Creator of worlds and characters
Lover of my craft
Hater of the BS that goes with it

Whine, bitch, complain
No! No! No!
That’ll send the wrong message
You must be in control
Show your strength and pride
Even as you wither and die inside
Able to handle anything.
Not a worry or care must crack the façade

Others have more of everything
Money, Looks, Voice
They are all over the place
Doing things better
Getting the recognition
And the means to live
Becoming somebodies
Even as the rest
Who do their best with what they got
End up with naught

Doesn’t matter that you don’t have much
You can’t let that be your crutch
You must go, go, go
Flash that fake smile.
Give until you have nothing left
Then give some more

Wow readers with swag, trinkets, and the like
Push through the chaos and the noise
Hoping for one moment ahead of the pack
Or maybe, even a small pat on the back

Ads, interviews, blogs, and posts
Constant presence
You must be there
Show yourself
Build community
Be yourself too
But only if it’s bright, not blue

Make time for this and that
Write every day
Create as much as you can
For that’s the only way you’ll make a dent
In the large pile of reading
That not everyone will be able to get to

Hours equal money
Job important too
Sleep and other things
Waste of resources
Prioritize writing
Nothing else

Break your heart if you have to
We don’t care
You are here to serve
Even as life throws you a curve

Reviews are scarce treasures
You need a certain number
Before you are even considered a success
Crappy ones make it through the machine
Good and helpful
That’s a different story

A big company determines which are worthy
You know this person, they claim
Yeah, you reply, only as someone in a non-existence world
Doesn’t matter, you were there
They connected with you
That’s enough

Sexy bodies, bloody teeth
Suggests action and drama
A horse on a starfield
Sure looks cool
It also means we already know the story
Probably has shallow characters, too

Oh, and please don’t bore us with the details
They are nice and all
But our brains can’t handle them
Leave them for the architects
Who create walls

Pain is fine, so is sorrow
Not to show, only to create
More real for the reader
But scary, if they knew the truth

Struggle in silence
Hide the misfortune
Perfection is the name of the game
I don’t want to smile anymore
Just cry
Happy, sometimes
Sad, others
Shouldn’t matter

What I share is who I am.
Even without all the glam
I am a writer.
My words are me
My heart , soul, and life are intertwined
In the stories that unwind.

Let me come into your world
Even with my strife
Who knows?
It might change your life
It’ll be much easier for me
To drop this mask
And show you who I truly be.