Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Quitters Don't Win

Haven't we all felt like quitting our writing journey now and then? The questions begin to swirl through your mind. Ones like:  How many years can I give this before it's time to bail? What is my percentage of acceptances over rejections? Does anybody but me care about what I write? Do I have any Followers of my work at all? Am I a better writer today than I was ten years ago? What writing goals have I achieved? The list could go on and on.

When that Self-doubt creeps in, spiral back to the days when you first decided to write. You were excited about trying something new, weren't you? You had high hopes, major goals, big dreams. Maybe you should create a poster showing the reasons you became a writer. Keep it where you can see it on a daily basis. When you're ready to throw up your hands and storm away from the writing path, study that poster. Carefully. Then assess your next step.

I ran across a short piece that I'd written earlier titled Why Bother? I used it in another post but it bears repeating today. This is what I wrote:

Does it appear that writing is meant to defeat a writer rather than buoy him/her to great heights? It may make you wonder why in the world you're beating your head against the writing wall if it is this hard to become a widely published writer. Why bother?

We bother, and I include myself here, because we love to write. We bother because we have something to say. We bother because we may want to prove something to ourselves. We bother because we know that the more we write, the more we grow as a writer. We bother because we've had positive feedback from readers. We bother because we've had some encouraging rejections from editors. We bother because we've had enough acceptances to know that we are not a washout as a writer. 

Now, aren't those enough reasons to stay on the writing journey? I think so. Just keep in mind that there is no express elevator. You move up one step at a time.

Dinty Moore, author of several books on writing said "The rewards of publication are fleeting, while the rewards of a regular writing practice are countless."  There's more to this writing game than being published so step back and look at the beginning, middle and end results before you storm away from something you probably love. 

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