Don’t beat yourself up; enough people will do it for you. This saying is a mantra of sorts, I guess, as I really believe in the positive approach to life. When I was teaching I often used this for students who told me of insurmountable problems they had. I wanted to give them the confidence to go on.
And so, with these words in mind, I give you
7 Reasons for Writers to be Made of Sterner Stuff.
1. Sometimes the whole world seems to line up waiting to tell you what’s wrong with your writing. The obvious culprits are fellow writers in critique groups, but family and even friends can blurt out the hurt. Even something as innocent as “Is your book published yet”, emphasis on the ‘yet’, can freeze my smile to a grimace.
2. The journey to publication is long. Did I say long? Sharon Clare, one of my writing friends, says it takes about ten years to make a writer. Others have shorter cocooning spans, but I believe it depends on what you knew when you started and what kind of luck you happen to have, as well as a goodly dose of perseverance. Publication will come, believe it.
3. One day you write three phenomenal pages. You tell your husband, your best friend, your sister, your Twitter tweeps about your brilliance. The next day you reread and delete said pages. This is tough but often necessary.
4. People who have been in this business a long time might, with all the best intentions, give you advice. You take it and find out months or even years later they were wrong. You may even have taken courses which turn out to be of limited value. The trouble is, you must keep writing and learning and searching to acquire enough knowledge yourself to know they were wrong. Meanwhile, all that time is gone.
5. A corollary to number 4 is people might give you advice, which you don’t take, and then you find out later they were oh, so right. Harrumph. I hate that one!
6. The actual journey work of writing historical fiction is hard. I have to research, organize notes, plot my story around correct history, and then write and write and write. Then the real work begins.
7. Writers must develop enough skill to write well, enough self-confidence to follow their best path, and enough perseverance to see their works published.
Funny how we put ourselves through all of these things. The need to publish should be moved to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I think. At least for writers.
Today’s post is praise for all those writers who keep going and reach their goals. Consider leaving a comment and telling why you write or why you appreciate writers who succeed.