It seems to go with the writing territory that most writers also long for an audience to read their words. Perhaps that’s ultimately what the urge to write is about: to connect one’s own expressions with others’. If you are one of these writers that means you have to find a way to be published, which, of course in some ways is easier than ever thanks to digital forms of self-publishing and in other ways, due to the increased competition, is now harder than ever before. If you’re anything like me, there are a dozen writing goals drifting in the horizon before you, some that seem in reach, and others that still seem many years down the road. And it’s easy to tell yourself because “I haven’t done X” you are somehow not successful as a writer. It’s at that point that a lot of writers retreat away from goals rather than persisting. What if I told that everything in your writing practice builds upon itself long into the future in ways you can’t even see bear fruit yet? Would you believe that some volunteer writing gig you took on for a friend’s non-profit is as important as a paid freelance article? What about a talk you gave for $50 to a library association? Or that time you spoke about writing to your pre-schooler’s classroom? You’d scoff, probably. If you look at your writing successes in isolation, like a series of stepping stones, each one allegedly needing to be bigger and shinier than the last one, rather than pieces in a mosaic, you won’t see the greater scheme of possibility and might fall into despair or discouragement.
I have been engaged in building my writing practice since age 8 (that’s 31 years). And I’m seeing things that I wrote, created, volunteered for and otherwise did to support my writing life come back to play in my writing life in ways I would not have imagined. In fact, I’m beginning to accept that nothing is ever wasted when it comes to one’s writing practice.
Your writing life is not a paint-by-numbers kit. Your success may follow a spiral or a lattice, an infinity loop of possibilities. If you try to look down at it as a straight line, you may be disappointed.
I’m here to tell you that you are more successful than you know.
- Success is not simply a matter of dollars and fame.
- You’re successful if your writing brings you joy.
- You’re successful if writing feels purposeful.
- You’re successful if you keep writing, no matter what, despite all the doubts and what ifs.
All you need to do is shift your focus.
- You’re not just a struggling writer; you’re building and sustaining a writing practice. A practice means to be engaged in an activity ongoing, over time, with conscious effort. Just like a small business, or an exercise regimen or a beautiful wood floor that needs polishing, your writing practice is built and sustained over time.
- You’re not facing rejection; you’re persisting through the challenging times because every life, and every writing practice, requires them.
- Your writing practice is more like a scavenger hunt than a marathon. You gather bits and pieces required and add them together, until you reach your goals. And once goals are reached, you find new ones.
- Add everything up. Or as I also like to say: “claim everything.”
- If it’s important enough to you, trust that the right method of expression will make itself known to you.
The secret is: you must persist. Keep visiting this site, or subscribe to my e-newsletter for weekly tips on how to do just that. (The e-newsletter goes out monthly).
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