Hello, my lovelies!
A thought occurred to me as I ate my dinner: I’ve spent a whole lot of my time telling you how to write, what to write, and giving you tips and such, but I haven’t given very much encouragement regarding hardly ANYTHING I’ve been telling you about. It severely displeased me that I had so obviously fallen short on this important task–after all, encouragement can be incredibly beneficial to a writer who is either stuck or second guessing their journey. So, here goes…
YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL AT WHAT YOU DO!
I’m not just saying that. You are doing what you are doing because you are good at it. Think back to the reason why you wanted to become a writer. It was probably because you felt at ease with writing. Or your friends and family gushed over how well you wrote. Or you had the determination to write about an idea from beginning to end because you wanted to.
I know every now and then things can get pretty tough for writers. We either hit writer’s block, the bane of our existence, or we are in some sort of financial distress be it big or small, or we just flat out don’t believe in ourselves. I know. There was a long time when I was sure that my writing skills would never get better from the cringe-worthy sappy mush I started out writing when I was younger. I was so convinced, I hid the stories I wrote from my family because I felt they were too stupid to see the light of day. And now I’m planning my wedding, and I’m a poor college student who recently thought that being a writer would never be able to be financially supporting. And don’t even get me started on writer’s block–I get that far too often.
But you know what I realized? I was writing not to prove my writing worth. Not to give me a steady income. Not to be an easy feat. I was writing because regardless of any of the three issues above, I could rise above it. And…I loved it. My fiancé pulled me aside when he noticed that my effort to create written art was getting pretty slack, and I confessed that I wasn’t sure that it was for me. He took my shoulders and looked me in the eye saying, “You know I don’t read hardly anything, but I love reading your stuff. You are so passionate about it that it just makes everything better. It doesn’t matter that you may not make the big bucks, it doesn’t matter that you may get writer’s block. You are good at what you do because you love doing it.”
YOU ARE ABLE TO DO WHATEVER YOU SET YOUR MIND TO
If you want to have your novel published, YOU CAN! That article you want to write for your favorite magazine? SEND THE QUERY! Not to sound pretentious, but take me for example. I was a closet writer for the vast majority of my writing career (like it ever was a career), and one day, I decided to sign up for the Professional Writing class the writing department that my college began to offer. After all, I had the wisp of a dream to be a published author, and that was professional, right? So, I attended to class, gladly soaking up all the knowledge that I could. After a semester of learning about all types of professional writing options, my wispy dream morphed into a more tangible dream to be a well known author through writing helpful articles for anyone who was looking for tips. That’s the same reason why I began this blog. Now, I’ve decided that I was to follow in my professor’s footsteps and not only write as a freelance writer and author, but I want to be a writing professor just like her.
This isn’t just a story of how I effortlessly jumped into an actual career of writing. It took 2 months for me to build up the courage to send my first query letter. I put it off, put it off, put it off because I was so unsure if I was ready for it. Was my idea good enough? Are my skills high enough? What should my name be?! (Yes, this was a serious issue for me.) Finally, when my professor asked if I had sent my query, I had to guiltily say no and give the reason why I hadn’t. Her answer was eye opening. She looked at me and said, “The worst they can do is say no. That’s it.” And that’s the truth for ANY WRITING. The worst anyone can say is that they won’t publish your work or that it isn’t what they were looking for. They aren’t going to whisper to other companies that your ideas were dumb. They aren’t going to sabotage your goals. They aren’t going to make a spectacle. All they can say is no.
Yes, many times your work WILL be rejected, and that’s perfectly fine. In fact, it’s pretty normal. My professor once told me of how a fellow writer wall papered the walls of his office with his rejection letters. That’s right. The rejection letters. If it means anything to you, the same query that took me 2 months to send was rejected. I saved the letter and resubmit my query to a different magazine who also rejected it. BUT, the second company agreed to send me early notification when they were opening up their submissions for the next issue they would publish.
The point of this kind of long example is that you CAN do it. You have the ability and the integrity for it. All you have to do is try. If your idea is accepted on the first go, that’s great! If not, it’s ok. Save that rejection letter and try again. That way, when your idea is finally accepted (because it will be), you can show the world how many times you got back up and tried again.
Don’t cheat yourself because you are discouraged. Do what you love with the knowledge that you are able to do it.
I honestly hope this is inspiring to you. Some of you may not need it, and some of you may feel that this came at just the right time. Either way, thank you so much for taking the time to read my words. Believe it or not, you guys encourage me every day. Every time I see that someone has viewed my page, or liked my post, or followed my blog, it helps me believe that this is what I can do. Because I love writing just like you do. So, thank you so much.