A Writer’s Guide to Surrender

JordanFiction Writing, Musings, Writing. Practice.14 Comments

I’ve shown up to the page almost every day for about six weeks, working straight through on this novel with fierce determination to finish a draft rather than my usual habit of getting 2/3 done before I fall to pieces.  But I’m not going to lie: the doubts, fear and anxiety that I am, once again, undertaking a project that may never see the light of day, are all with me as I set my finger pads down on the keyboard.

And yet…doubt is no longer a good reason to stop writing. Fear is an even less compelling reason. It has become clear, ever since 8 year-old me completed her first short story, that I’m not ever going to stop writing unless forced.

So what keeps me writing when my ego whines “what’s the point?”


Surrender means writing for the love of it, not just the hope of a paycheck or praise one day.

Surrender means a deep respect for the power of storytelling, one of the oldest human tendencies of self-expression and connection.

Surrender means a willingness to be vulnerable, and clunky, and persistent even when it’s hard.

Surrender means that you accept the words that are uniquely yours.

Surrender means you listen to the voice that has always, always told you stories that you must write down and shape to your gratification.

Surrender means that there are so, so, so many realities way worse and harder and far less pleasant than writing that you could do.

Surrender means awareness that success comes in many forms, and the New York Times Bestseller list is only one tiny version.

Surrender means being tender with yourself.

Surrender means being committed to your vision.

Life is SHORT. Write while you can. What do you have to lose?

JordanA Writer’s Guide to Surrender

14 Comments on “A Writer’s Guide to Surrender”

  1. Robert Watts

    Thanks for sharing with such honesty and determination. This gives me strength to keep writing. Thanks!

  2. Diane

    What a timely and powerful post, Jordan – thank you. When I am bitten by the doubt/fear bug (which as a new writer, I often am), I will return to these words. Many of the “Surrender means…” spoke to me. Today, it is this one: “Surrender means a willingness to be vulnerable, and clunky, and persistent even when it’s hard.”

  3. Pingback: Deathly Lessons for Writers | Jordan Rosenfeld

  4. Kristi Holl

    Jordan, there is so much wisdom here. Thank you for your honesty. I think this just may push me past quitting when I’m half-way there! I needed this today. 🙂

  5. Barbara Spicer

    This is a tardy remark but strongly felt. Your words are as potent and inspiring as always. Thanks. Surrendering sounds so much more inviting than fighting, and so much more productive.

  6. Julie Garmon

    Beautiful, Jordan. Just found your blog. Surrender was my word a couple of years ago–and it still hounds me. 🙂

    From an inspirational nonfiction writer working hard at becoming a novelist. I appreciate your work and your heart! xo


  7. Fred Rollins (Pat)

    I was surprised to see you use the word “clunky”.
    I often feel that when the words are strung together in a very mechanical way.
    The light is green.
    The cars go.
    The light turns red.
    The cars stop.
    Clunky: the exact word for Joe Friday writhing style.
    Thank you.

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