I think we can all agree that sometimes the world feels heavy. And, on occasion, heavy seems to win the battle of the day. This is especially true for the life of a writer. However, the good news is, we don’t have to give in to “heavy’s” hand. We can fight it. And when we fight, we fight to win. What do we win? Our own power to keep writing!
I don’t know if many of you ever feel like your struggles are yours alone, but as a writer, I believe many of us feel the same insecurities at times. The decision to write and publish your book is a huge undertaking, and can feel overwhelmingly daunting at times. I’m not denying that this can seem like an impossible task, but it’s your calling and you are given the ability to do it! We just need to figure out a way to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable milestones, and set a timeline to make being a published writer your reality.
So what is our opposition and how to we overcome it?
Many writers often lose confidence in their own abilities for many reasons. Maybe you’re reading Jodi Picoult and chastising yourself for not being in the same ballpark as she is. Possibly you haven’t discovered your own unique writer’s voice or style. Whatever the reason, you are questioning your ability.
This is when you need an extra large dose of confidence builder.
Action Plan: Turn on your workout radio, hello Pandora - I’m talking to you, and listen to that until you feel like you could conquer the world. Now channel that empowerment into your self-esteem and hold it there for a long time. Know that you CAN do this.
You are a writer. You have the skills, the talent, the desire and the gift. You just need belief - belief in yourself.
It can be difficult to realistically fit writing into your everyday world. Do it anyway. Not many writers begin as full-time writers. Everyone has to start somewhere. We’re fitting it in by contracting, journaling, writing for our full-time jobs that pay the bills, on the subway, at the movies, in the park, and at 2 a.m. We don’t make excuses. We just do it.
Remind yourself that you are important and you deserve to schedule time to do what you were created to do. Consider this an investment in your God-given talent. Ever read the Purpose Driven Life? Don’t waste your purpose because of a scheduling conflict. Write it in permanent marker in your daily calendar and be so bold to keep this appointment with yourself.
Not being published is no reason not to write, otherwise we would have no books, and what a sad world that would be. There are plenty of best sellers, like Elizabeth Gilbert, who had to submit work time and time again before anyone took notice of her mad skills. It’s not that she wasn’t gifted. It’s that she had to be perseverant and know that she is susceptible to timing.
While becoming published may be your dream, don’t write for the goal of being published. Write for the goal of telling a story - your story. Once you’ve told your story, the publishing will follow in due time and according to God’s plan.
Sometimes your best ideas come when you least expect them to appear. When I have trouble moving forward and am stuck in one place, I take part in something mindless. I’m not sure what your go-to hobby is, but my therapeutic, mind-numbing pastime is coloring, and thank God that adult coloring books are a real thing. It requires minimal concentration, but allows the creativity to flow just the same.
When inspiration hits, take hold of it. Don’t wait. It came to you at that time, offering the idea up to you. If you wait, consider the idea gone, as someone else is likely to have it as well. Timing is everything in this business, and believe enough in yourself that this time it was meant for you.
It’s time for your thoughts and your words to be heard.
Don’t allow opposition and self-doubt to slow you down or get in the way of your success. All you can do is start where you are. It doesn’t matter if that means starting over or picking up your first draft to try to polish it, but just gain some sort of momentum.
Have confidence in yourself and your ability. You started this process for a reason, and I believe the reason is because you’ve been provided with a gift. You have a unique ability that you shouldn’t waste.
Wouldn’t the world be a sad place if Adele didn’t have the courage to sing? Er, or maybe we’re sadder because of it, but ultimately, her gift stirs emotion in us because we can relate to it. We hear her voice and feel her pain.
It’s time for the world to hear your voice and live through your experiences. Even if your work is not published, it’s never a waste of time honing in your skills.
Just start writing and doing your thing. You’ve got this.
Rachael Lundy is a published author and a freelance writer who enjoys inspiring readers with her words. She is a contributing writer for NyreePress.