if i died, it wouldn’t matter! why do i feel like such a failure?

dear heather,

I feel like a failure sometimes. I have no great talent and I’m not particularly good at anything. I want to be a writer, but I’m terrible and never end up finishing a story and if I do it’s usually rejected by magazines and publishers. A few my friends who are writers are already published. It makes me depressed and I think if I died it wouldn’t matter because I’ll never contribute anything to the world.

Are you a teenager? Even if you’re out of your teens, I’m impressed that you’re submitting stories to magazine and publishers. It’s also kind of extraordinary that several of your friends are published. Sometimes it takes dozens of rejections before even the best writers get their work accepted.What I’m saying is that I think you might be measuring your writing success against some pretty untypical circumstances–and being too hard on yourself.

Your letter seems like it’s about more than writing, though. When you say you’re “not particularly good at anything,” that’s a pretty broad sweep. And the way you bring up depression and death makes me think that it might be a good time to see a counselor at school or somebody you can speak to in confidence about those feelings.

|take this quiz to find out if you’re in a funk or seriously depressed.|

As for the writing, if you’re serious about it, my advice is to try something completely new and different to get yourself out of this rut. Is there a class you can take outside school? What about trying a whole new style of writing or reading a book about the writing process?

I also recommend giving yourself a little bit of a break about all this, however, and maybe even treating yourself to something special! Besides relieving some of the pressure you seem to be feeling, focusing on other things could be a good way to remind yourself about things in your life that give you pleasure–and that you may be “good at.” Not to mention that it might just put some sparkle into your writing.

Meanwhile, you might want to check out these resources about depression.

take care,
heather

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  • dani

    I feel that way alot. but you have to remember that theres someone out there who cares about you. dont worry and stay strong!

  • Cody

    Hey,
    Sometimes I feel as though people won’t give a crap if I died or committed suicide……and it’s a crap feeling!!!!
    But although sometimes I feel hopeless I always come to realise how many people would be hurt if I did die suddenly. So to make myself feel better, I go and paint my feelings while I listen to either heavy metal (For when I am angry) or JB’s Never Say Never. I also think about my besties and my boyfriend, and mostly my family!!!
    I really hope you find a way to realise you are amazing no matter what you do. I have depression at 13 and trust me I know how sucky life can be!!!!!
    From someone who’s just here,
    Cody