Friday, January 13, 2017

Writing Through the Tough Times Brings Discovery

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve never met anyone who had an easy life. I’ve met a lot of people that looked like they did—from the outside. But once I’ve gotten to know them, I quickly learned that things were never what they seemed. This holds true for writers.

Those who have the luxury of writing full-time have the same struggles faced by those who have limited time.

That leads me to what I think is one of the biggest lies about writing—the myth of finding time to write. Truthfully, that time is never found. It’s carved out of our busy lives. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bestselling author or just starting to put pen to paper. And whether or not we consistently carve out that time, no matter what’s happening around us, will determine how successful we are.

As writers, we need to realize tough times will come. And it’s during those times that our commitment will be tested and our resolve will be forged.

But take heart. There are some good things that will come out of perseverance, and today I’m going to share them.

1. A strength you didn’t know you had. Until we push ourselves to write when we don’t feel like it, write when we don’t have time, and write when we plain just don’t want to, we’ll always feel like a fraud. But when we grit our teeth and hammer out words—sometimes just junk—we take our dream from wishing to reality. After all, as Nora Roberts said, “You can fix anything but a blank page.

2. The knowledge that you are a person to be admired and respected. If I give up every time something gets difficult, I lose my self-respect. But, if I continue on, no matter how difficult, I earn that respect back. Beyond that, I earn the respect of other writers around me.

3. A foundation of toughness. Writing isn’t for wimps. A successful writer is two parts mind-over-matter, three parts perseverance, and one part optimism.

4. The courage to continue on no matter what comes in the future. I’ve discovered something even more frightening than writer’s block. It’s starting over after a successful project. We all look at that blank screen and wonder if we have another book/article/poem inside us. And the more successful we are, the more paralyzing the fear can become, if we let it have a foothold. If, on the other hand, we refuse to listen to those doubts echoing in our minds, we’ll find that our courage grows and we’re able to continue moving forward, no matter what.

5. A sense of accomplishment. Moving forward, when things get tough, gives us a sense of accomplishment. Small successes can be built, one after another, into a confidence that doesn’t collapse when things get hard.

All of these things will stand us in good stead, in life as well as in our writing endeavors. So next time you find yourself in the midst of tough times, persevere and come out on the other side stronger.

These are the things I’ve found when I write through the tough times. What insights have you gained? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Writing through the tough times brings discovery - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the encouragement, Edie! I became an English teacher 23 years ago because I loved to read and write. But once I started teaching, I didn't have "time" to do either for myself. All my reading and writing was tied to my profession. I even convinced myself to give up my dream of writing. But that nagging little dream didn't give up on me. A few years ago I finally decided I was indeed going to write. And guess what? Somehow I found the time. I only wish I hadn't waited so long.