“All good writings begin with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” — Anne Lamott
There are many hills and valleys associated with being a writer, but the hardest part of being a writer has been managing discouragement. It’s hard to keep a “stiff upper lip” when you get rejection letters, low book sales, or constant writer’s block.
Joel Osteen said, “We all have unfair situations and things we don’t like. You can get bitter, discouraged, and sour, or you can see it as fertilizer and say, ‘The difficulty is not going to defeat me, it’s going to promote me. It’s not going to hinder me, it’s going to help me.’ Do go through it, grow through it.”
I love that last line: “Do go through it, grow through it!” That sentiment is how I work as a writer. I keep chugging away, learning from my mistakes, and fight on. I never stop writing, even if I’m the only one reading my stories. I can’t keep them inside and let them stew. I have to keep going, no matter what.
It’s hard not to get discouraged, but there are worse things than a rejection letter from a publisher. I have my health, my family, and a good job that allows me to pursue my writing career. It’s fighting back against the discouragement that adds to my passion for writing.
I spent more than 30 years in the Navy as a Navy Journalist and Public Affairs Officer. That training and work experience gave me the tools I needed but did not satisfy my needs for more creative writing. I fight my own self doubt every day, but it’s a battle I have to win. Being a writer, an accomplished writer and storyteller, is something I desire more than anything. It’s not for the fame, the glory, or the recognition. It’s just for the satisfaction of having someone read my stories in the hope that it gives them a good feeling or a chance to escape.
There are thousands of quotes, advice, or methods out there to beat back the funk of being discouraged. Personally, I like to throw myself into my writing. It helps me when I take myself to a magical fantasy world and follow the adventures there into my stories. It gives me an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and keeps my dream alive.
I may or may not achieve my goal of being a published author, but if even one person likes my stories, then I’ve done my job. I’d like to leave you with this thought.
“Very few writers know what they’re doing until they’ve done it.” — Anne Lamott
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.