You Gotta Believe

On Writing: On one hand, it seems like trying to make it in the writing world is tough to do. Usually there is minor to massive rejection on the road a writer must travel. Competition, comparison, self-doubt, and those times when you think you’ve reached a creative crisis. (Call it what you will, but writer’s block is a lot like the Loch Ness Monster. Some people swear it exists, have even experienced it. Others say it doesn’t exist and it’s just an imaginary monster.) It’s easy to think about all of that and get discouraged. Totally normal and even okay. But only if you wallow quickly and then jump right back into the fray. Because the thing is- writers aren’t special snowflakes. Our challenges aren’t that different from those of so many others.

Obviously every other creative profession, (actor, singer, artist, musician etc) all have the same rate of competition, self-doubt and rejection. But so do many other walks of life. I’m the mother of four young adults, so I have a front row seat on the front-lines of how rough it can be taking the first steps into adulthood. From trying out for high school teams, to applying to colleges, asking people on dates, interviewing for a job or a Master’s program …all of those situations require risk and usually garner a few rejections. Heck, I remember when my dad turned 55 and was let go during a “downsizing” from the computer company he worked for for twenty years. Who wants to hire a 55 year old with plenty of shiny, new college graduates applying too? My dad faced a lot of rejection that year.

So my point, pretty sure I have one…yes, all of this is to say, have faith. On those days when you get an “R” or two or three…Breathe. On those days when your dream of being a published author seems destined to remain out of reach…Relax. And know there are so many other people out there working hard, taking risks and chasing their dreams too. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that thought comforting.

There are two other items I think are important to help a writer succeed.
#1 Don’t try this alone. Writing itself is a solitary pursuit, so take time to make friends. Join a group or two, whether in person or virtual. Be each other’s support. And if that group isn’t supportive (hey, sometimes it only takes one bad apple) then move on and find others. The romance writing world is full of amazingly generous people.

#2 You must continue to believe in yourself. There are an infinite number of ways to tell a story in this world, but no one, not one single person, can tell the same story in the same way as you can. In this case, you are a special snowflake. And if you keep working on craft, and keep writing, there are people out there waiting to read a story just. like. yours. You will be someone’s favorite author. If you just keep writing.

Today’s Song: “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl.