Friday, January 23, 2015

Take An Ounce of Courage and....

The poster above urges us to try. True that we'll never know what might happen until we do.

The problem is that sometimes it takes courage to make that first step. What holds us back? Try these for starters.

1. What if I try to write something and it turns out to be a piece of junk?

2. What if I write something and it's a wonderful story and then I have to measure up with all the rest of my writing?

3. What if I'm just fooling myself that I am actually a decent writer?

4. What if I write a good story but then have to find a place to submit it? That's hard work!

Let's look at each of these worries. And don't kid yourself, these are the kinds of things that many writers do find of great concern.

1. So what if what you write turns out to be a piece of junk? There's no rule that, once you write it, you have to show it to anyone, have to submit somewhere, or even like it yourself. The big thing is that you actually took that first step and wrote something. Go for it!

2. If you have written something you feel is really good, you'll do it again. Maybe not every time but you will definitely write a good story again. All writers have files of writing that they are proud of, writing that could be better with some work, and writing that is a 'forget-it' type. Nobody, or almost nobody, writes a blue ribbon winner every time they put forth the effort to write. Maybe what you put into the writing is part of what group it will fall in. The harder you work, the better the piece is most likely to be.

3. It's possible that you are fooling yourself, possible that you may never make it as a published writer. But that's OK. At least you took the first step. You tried. It's also very possible that you are better than you think you are. We tend to put ourselves down more than we should. So, don't be too hard on yourself.

4. Yes, dear Writer, it is hard work to find a place to submit your work and then make the submission. You don't wave a magic wand to find a home for what you writer. If only! You must study the markets and look for the best match for your story. You need to make a list of possible markets for each story, poem or essay you write. Lists and more lists. Some writers whine that all they want to do is write. That's fine if you don't care about being published but if you do want to sell your work or see it in print, grit your teeth and get on with the search for a place to submit.

So, take an ounce of courage and try. You'll never know what might happen until you do.


  1. Nancy, #4 is so true. I spend as much time searching for markets as I do writing. Great post!

    1. I think #4 is true for a whole lot of us. Thanks for your comment, Linda.