There are times when this gorgeous, spooky art of writing is, well, hard. The combination of big desires and necessary hard work sometimes leads to a feeling of exhaustion or disappointment when it doesn’t turn out the way you had envisioned. Then there’s rejection, criticism, expectations that don’t go as you planned. There’s envy, doubt, feelings of fraud, and wondering why you’re still at it. There’s having to wait and beating yourself up. There’s wondering who you are if you don’t do it and relief after you’ve finally written.
This coming year I have something for you, for all of you who suffer the challenges of your craft and art. Think of it as a collection of pep talks and resources, efforts to cheerlead us through the tough times. My book A Writer’s Guide to Persistence comes out in spring. In the months between the New Year and then I will also be offering you little tidbits and tastes and guest blogs that point you toward what it means to develop a writing practice so strong it can withstand the worst criticisms and the most fallow stretches of time.
The singular most important factor in having a lasting and meaningful writing practice is that you love what you do. And if right now you don’t, that’s okay—you can lead yourself back to the elation. Getting back to loving it may take working through some crap, and it may take sitting down and writing some really bad stuff every day for a month. It will require getting clear about a few things, developing a code, a set of values and a team to support you.
What I wish for you in 2015 is that you come back to your writing, or give more to it, that you know there is hope beyond discouragement and rejection, that your writing path can take an altogether unexpected twist if you hold yourself open. Invite in growth this year.
And keep checking back here for messages of persistence.
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