As I wrote today, I found myself writing a sentence that definitely wasn’t true, but at the time, it was almost cathartic. “Why do I even bother?” I deleted the sentence almost immediately afterwards, and began the process of finding love in writing once again. After a rejection, my ego always takes a bit of a hit. Yes, I know it’s part of a learning process, and rejections are part of the writer’s life, and yes, I know that this doesn’t mean I necessarily suck at writing. But sometimes, you can’t stop the negative emotions from surfacing. Sometimes you just have to let yourself wallow, and take the time to swim out of your funk.
I wallowed. I read short stories. I wrote for fun. Slowly, the joy came back, although it never left in the first place. Doubt has a unique way of cutting your imagination in half. You will not be productive, or write well, if you let yourself dwell on doubt.
Things to remember when questioning the why:
1) Have an answer. Why do you write? In my opinion, if you are already writing, you should already have a reason. Why do I write? Because I love it. Simple and easy. Of course, there is the long answer, but sometimes the easy answer can become a mantra. A way for you to get back that confidence. I love to write. I love to write. I love to write. Are you smiling yet?
2)Remind yourself that although you were rejected here, you may not be rejected there. Try again. Sometimes, in the case of a themed anthology, there were merely other stories that the editor thought better suited the theme, or general feel of the collection. That doesn’t mean you need to throw out your work. Try again. Be the little engine that could, or whatever other saying follows the line of try again. Never ever ever ever ever give up. (Thank you Winston Churchill)
3) Have a bite of cake. Or a small slice. Something rich in chocolate will do nicely. Have your cake, next to a good book, and lose yourself in good writing. Remind yourself of your goals, of your love of words. Tell yourself not to be intimidated by the amazing story you are reading. Rather, let such and such author become your mentor. Read, eat, and love that cake.
So three little steps to help you beat the doubt of why. I’m sure it’ll happen to you, i’m it happens to the best writers out there. It’s normal to doubt, we just need to beat it, each and every time.
On another note. In regards to the ROW80 challenge, I was especially productive this week on the Go transit to and from Toronto this week. Saw the Michelangelo exhibit, and it was wonderful. Learned he had a big ego, but it is well justified. The man was amazingly talented.
My page count is at 28 pages. 52 pages to go! Hmm, i’m considering upping my goal. We’ll see how the rest of november goes. I’m expecting to be very busy at the end of next week, and I am frightened for my creativity time. Hopefully I can keep this up.
Cheers to all my lovely readers!