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Instead, probably to her horror, I started talking until my brain found an answer. I do that sometimes.
Leaving the definition of making it as a writer aside for another post, here is a close proximity to the answer I gave her:
I don't think failing would depress me beyond recovery. Sure, it would be a huge disappointment. Perhaps one of the worst of my adult life. Yeah, I could see the lack of success sending me into a tailspin where I struggle to eat, or sleep. I'd waste away. Then there would be the mood swings, and the anti-social behavior, ending with me on the top of a cliff, pondering the meaning of it all.
But severely depressed? Not as such.
Okay. Let me try that again. Here's how I really answered:
In all seriousness, not making it as a writer would be hard. Not giving it a real effort and trying would be much, much worse.
And honestly, if I put the hard work into it that I've been discussing here on this blog, I'm having a hard time believing I won't make it. (That's the writer's ego talking.) Sure, it'll probably take longer than I'd like, but dedicating myself to the craft, and sitting down to do it every day will surely pay off. One day.
Strangely enough, I also have daily doubts where I wonder if I'll ever be any good. (That's also the writer's ego talking. We're a fragile bunch.)