Surviving the Writing Life
The trials and tribulations of being a writer. A love letter to fellow writers.
Books, essays, short stories, poetry, and more are fun and fulfilling for readers, but for authors, there is a whole lot of story that comes before the story.
We endure numerous rejections before the successes, no matter how good of a writer we are. Rejections are part of every aspiring author’s path. And not just at the beginning of our journey, but for the full ride. They will lessen as we get better and better at our craft, but we will always have rejections in many different forms to endure. Even famous authors we love go through all of this.
What readers like is completely subjective. If you’re part of any reading groups online or otherwise, you will have noticed this often. As writers, we can only control how well we do our job, not whether or not readers like the work. And someone liking our writing or not says nothing about how well we write. Again, totally subjective. That adds an element of difficulty to the career, in my opinion. There isn’t a simple formula to follow that will ensure your writing is liked by everyone. It’s not possible. But we are forever trying anyway.
You often hear writers/authors say things like if they had a choice, they wouldn’t choose a career in writing. It sounds odd, but we all know what each other means by that. Most of us write because it’s our calling, it’s in our DNA in a way. Or maybe quite literally.
Writing is not an easy career. It’s fraught with rejection, self-doubt, frustration and so much more. Yet, thankfully, the rewards are amazing. When they come.
It’s always been ironic to me that writers are among some of the most insecure individuals, yet we are known to have the grit and perseverance it takes to succeed. We have to or we will never see success.
Talent is important and a beautiful gift, but it doesn’t shield us from all the hard work we still need to put into this career. There is so much more to finding success for writers, so much outside influence as well as our own ability and willingness to give it all we’ve got.
Bottom line: a career in writing is not for the faint of heart, yet so many tender-hearted people are often writers (or artists in general). So what do we do to survive this “affliction”? I think there are a lot of answers to that question.
For me to survive this career path, I have to lean into my Christian faith. I can tell you this has saved my sanity and pulled me out of a haunting state of melancholy numerous times. My faith gives me something nothing else can provide: hope. Pure and simple. My trust that the Lord will open doors, prepare me for success, and help me continue to grow my knowledge in the craft is the number one key to my mental health as well as my ability to pick myself up and move forward after a setback.
No matter how you find your way back to the light of your writing, to survive the brutal punches we receive over and over as writers, we need to remember that if we quit, we will never succeed. As simple as that. We have to keep getting back up.
Find your coping mechanisms and hold tight to hope and perseverance.
May you find great joy and success on your path.
Happy writing and happy reading!!
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”—Oprah Winfrey.
I absolutely loved this book! The author Beatriz Williams did a fantastic job! It’s a great story told in perfect form. The story grabbed ahold of me from page one and didn’t let go until the end.