Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Struggle to Believe: Not Losing Confidence in Your Writing

You're as good as anyone else!

That's usually the opening to blog posts about how to keep on writing, how not to lose the magic that helps you turn out another page. But read those words often enough ... and they start sounding hollow.

I do believe in the power of what you tell yourself, but affirmation can only go so far. What will carry you through to the other side, is the decision to become a fighter. You can't go down and you can't stop coming back up for yourself.

The first thing you fight is the thought of giving up. Especially if you've sent in your writing to more places than you can remember, submitted over and over until the pages of your notebook that track dates and responses, or no response, fills up. You send your writing in to magazines, short story features, podcasts, publishers, websites, agents, newspapers, journals, contests--whether people ask for them or not.

Every morning you wake up, and start again. You brush your teeth, heat up the coffee and sit and write. And you remind yourself that you're smart, that you have to work hard and learn more. That you have to read and practice to get good at what you do. Writing is no different from anything else--you repeat, you study, you learn, you apply.

It'll be slow going, but that's how you get better at anything.

You have to fight to keep on writing.
You have to fight to keep on learning.
You have to fight to keep on loving your words and the way they sound.
You have to fight to find the time for education, for the time to write, and for the need to do this because you believe that you can. 

You have to fight for what you believe about your writing. That means listening to what comes back from your submissions and from the feedback of editors BUT to keep that critique in balance with what you believe. Think on it all, but use it as a way to improve, not as a reason to stop.

I am not an author. But the only way I know of being one, is this: to never stop fighting for the day that I know I will be.

It's what I believe. 

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