And my birthday isn't for another month but I've already got a birthday reward!
"That's the worst... or the best... of real life, Anne. It won't let you be miserable. It keeps on trying to make you comfortable... and succeeding... even when you're determined to be unhappy and romantic." - Miss Lavendar, Anne of Green Gables
I've now had five weeks in a row where I set a chapter deadline for 3pm Saturday, and finished the chapter a day early at best, later that day at worst. I might actually really make headway in my novel-writing now - plus, I'm feeling more enthusiastic about all my writing projects in general. Sometimes you just have to prime the pump to get motivation flowing ^^
I decided it was WAY too nice outside to stay inside all day, so I took a walk. And I did 3.39 miles!! That's over 5K! Granted, it took me an hour and a half. BUT seeing as I've never deliberetly done 5K at once EVER, and seeing as I had hip replacement surgery 7.5 months ago, even though I'm only 30 (Long-ish story, but I don't mind sharing, if anyone cares to know), I'm going to say "Not too bad!"
Not sure if this is quite the right board for this, but I came across this on Tumblr, and I felt that I really, really needed to share this at the NTWF. Hang in there. ((I copied and pasted since there was one part that had a touch of language, but if you'd like to read it straight from the source, you can send me a PM. ^^))
I'm a writer and I adore your work. I'm asking this anonymously since I don't need to be dragged through more nonsense than I already have been. What I want to know is how you do it. I admire you and look up to you as a writer (which is funny because you're probably younger than me). You seem so strong and you deal with all this crap, too. How do you keep at it? How do you stick it out when everyone seems to be telling you it's not good enough, that your work isn't up to snuff? How do you be ok?
Courtney Summers said:
Hi, anon. I’m sorry for whatever nonsense it is you’ve been dealing with and hope you’re hanging in there since you sent me this. Thank you for all your kind words. They mean a lot to me.
If you’re surrounded by people who offer you nothing more constructive than, “You’re not good enough,” it’s time to find new people. Writing is subjective. It’s so subjective that anyone who thinks they can make definitive calls on the quality of your or anyone else’s work needs to [get out]. Two yesses are what made the difference for me. Two. I got some encouragement, but I got hundreds and hundreds of nos and if I had listened to the more than one person who passed on my stuff because they didn’t think they could sell it or the ones who felt it was unlikely to find a readership, I wouldn’t be writing back to you right now.
It’s important to come to writing with a willingness to learn and an understanding that there’s always, always room for improvement, that you can always be better. No one owes it to you to teach you how to do that, but there are a lot of generous folks in writing communities who are willing to help others. Seek them out. Not only that, but there are lots of writing courses, both online and off, available to writers at all stages of their journeys, from those starting out to those who have been in the business a while and are looking for help to take their work to the next level. Maybe this is an option you’d like to check out?
I’m not saying you have to, but I think if you’re not getting what you need from the people you’re sharing your work with and they’re leaving you THIS discouraged and not okay, THAT is not okay. If you can, look for writers who get your work, who can see what you want to do with it, who make you feel excited about it and who make you believe in its potential. That’s a large part of what keeps anyone going and you deserve that feeling.
I know what it’s like to go through periods where the bad stuff is louder, when you can’t find the joy, when the tunnel just keeps getting longer and longer. Sometimes the lows have been so crushing, I have days where I truly wonder what I do this for… but then I’ll get a new idea. Start a new book. Or I’ll have a breakthrough with the one I’m working on. A scene that’s been bugging me will finally come together and I remember…
Every book holds a world of possibilities, creatively and professionally. I’m hooked on that. I may not always get what I want (and I don’t always get what I want—rejection continues even after you’re published), but I feel better for having tried. When I write, I feel like I’m making doors. Maybe this will be the one that opens up to the place I want to be. If it’s not that one, maybe it’s the next one. I can keep making doors. That’s what makes it okay for me.
So keep making doors. Don’t let anyone stop you.
Quotation of the Moment: "Life is not going to be a rubric." –Andy Tarpley
You should also check out Free Rice! It's pretty awesome. ^_^