Ever feel like you’re completely over it? Over submitting manuscripts and being told “no”? Over writing pages and pages, being excited as heck about your words and wondering if the masses ever will be? Over entering writing competitions and hearing nothing back? Over pulling your hair out wondering what your next steps should be? Wondering if you should just stop?
If you’re thinking any of these things, there’s a trick to nipping it in the bud. The reason I can share it is because I’ve been “over it” before. I’ve nitpicked at my craft, been super insecure, and wondered if this thing I’ve loved since I was a kid, didn’t love me back. Even as I received external validation for my writing abilities and the stories I was telling, I still wasn’t sold. Deep down I worried if I’d ever reach my writing career goals.
That’s until I asked myself “Why do you write Jackie?” Is it because it’s been a part of your identity from childhood days? Is it a passion that’s no longer but you’re fighting to keep it so?
I dug deep and made myself look hard inward to find answers to these questions. I even stressed out over the passion one, wondering if it’d been lost.
For me, writing was a safe place. I would write in diaries to get my feelings out as a child. Later that turned into writing stories. Even when I took a five-year hiatus from prose – in a jaded turn of events – I didn’t completely stop writing. Instead of prose I wrote lots of creative nonfiction. I also hunkered down with a screenplay series, got stuck in and even filmed some scenes before we decided to shelf due to budget constraints.
The point is, even when I thought I was over it, jaded, and done, I couldn’t be.
I love writing. I love the images, worlds, and characters that crowd my mind. When writing nonfiction, I enjoy exploring topics dear to me or sharing real life experiences. Screenplays? Woooot! That medium’s another dynamic way to get my stories out. I’m into it all ^_^.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the trick to keep you going even when you don’t want to, is going back to the beginning.
Why did you start writing? What does it mean to you? What do you feel as you write?
Even if you’ve just received your twentieth rejection letter, it sucks yea, but it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters is you enjoying your writing time. Remembering why you started and why you chose the craft. Consistently improving and giving your talents free reign.
I write because I love writing. I have reached some of my writing career goals, and allow myself to enjoy working towards others. It’s challenging sometimes, especially when “feels” get involved, but I press on because of the trick.
Everything begins with the words. The way I feel as I write or read what I’ve written, the excitement and joy when meeting a new character, or developing a world <—- those are the important bits. Giving my all to each project, you giving your all too, that’s how we continue to develop, prepare, and keep passion alive for our craft. All the rest follows :).
This is my fourth year as an Ink & Insights’ judge and throughout its duration, I’ll share a connected post once a month. Learn more about the Ink and Insights’ writing competition here.
For more info, questions, or comments, share below or contact me :).