Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fighting Discouragement

I started this week talking about Maintaining focus but today I wanted to talk about a related area: Fighting Discouragement.

This is something that affects writers of every level and can lead to really great writers giving up on their craft. Maybe it is because the sales numbers aren't what you wanted them to be. Maybe you didn't earn out your advance and you're concerned that your writing career may be done. Maybe you are fighting back writer's block. Or you could have done really well and you wonder if you're a "One hit Wonder".

Maybe you WISH you were published and you're so fed up with all the rejection letters that are piling up. You might be thinking you were only kidding yourself about your potential as a writer. You may have friends or family asking if you're still doing that "Writing Thing". Or you told someone today that you're a writer and they said "Do you have any books published?" And when you said "no" they gave you that patronizing nod.

I'd like to simply encourage you. You are a writer. These are all steps on the path to writing. I've read the biographies of many great people and what distinguishes all of them is that they didn't quit when everyone else did. That's right; they just kept trying one more time. I've heard it many times, it doesn't matter how many times you are knocked down-it matters how often you get up.

Do you let disappointments set you back for an hour? A day? A week? A month? MORE?

I read on Brandilyn Collins' blog about how many times she "Almost" made it as a writer. She kept kicking her filing cabinet with each setback [something I cannot see such a mild mannered woman doing-but then she does kill people for a living :-) ]. She wrote intense suspense books [now dubbed "Seatbelt Suspense"] but for years she was an unknown sitting on a shelf.

But what about you? I'm sure you're tired of wonderful stories told by well meaning people of individuals who got 1,000 rejection letters before selling their first book. They really don't help when you've only received 20 rejections-do they?


All you do then is think "Great, only 980 more to go...why even waste the time?"

So I'm not going to give any of those "motivational" talks. I'm simply going to tell you that if you keep at it by using the natural talent you were born with, then mix it with the skill that comes from hard work, that eventually you will produce something worth reading. Once that happens it is just a matter of connecting with the RIGHT publishing house.

If you're willing to do that then no amount of discouragement will be able to stop you.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter


Anna said...

Thank you so much! I needed to hear this!

Inspire said...

Thank you, Tiffany. Writing can often be lonely and discouraging. We all need a good pep talk from time to time. There are so many great writers out there, and it would be wonderful if the doors at the CBA houses would swing a little wider.

Sun Singer said...

Writers need to hear these words, for there are times when most of us think the odds are higher that we'll win $100,000 at a Vegas casino than to get a letter from a publisher saying "I'm publishing your book."

The rejection seems so personal, too, that I imagine it's worse for writers than other professions. Here we're selling ourselves and our dreams, and it takes a lot of grit to keep trying.