Friday, October 22, 2010

Don’t Let Anyone Stop you from Writing

As writers we are prone to despair  and feelings of insecurity.  A bad review, a rejection from an agent, harsh editorial feedback, even unfavourable comments from critique partners can plunge us into a prolonged state of despair. There are moments when we wonder why do we write, when all we encounter in the initial stages of our careers are roadblocks and dead ends.

Are we sadists who put ourselves up for rejection and scrutiny day after day via our writing. The entire world gets a close peek into our thought process, into our sensibilities,  into our  feelings through the characters we create. Though we may be extremely private individuals, we do live extremely public lives because of our work.

In this scenario we have to be our biggest supporters, have to constantly motivate ourselves and have immense faith in our abilities and stories, else we will be close to literary annihilation. Though we are allowed a bit or maybe even a lot of self pity, we have no other choice but to lick our wounds and get on with the job in hand: our WIP.

I read this beautiful saying “ If I have lost the self confidence in myself, I have the Universe against me” – Ralph W Emerson. It applies to us writers perfectly. If we lose confidence in ourselves, in our stories, in our characters, in our settings, then  not only  are we doing a grave injustice to ourselves, but we are  also cheating ourselves. This is  a God given talent, each one of us has  unique stories that we must and should share with the world.  Rejections and criticisms should not deter us, infact they should strengthen our resolve to tell the best story that we can. To turn those detractors into our biggest supporters should be our aim, and we should resolve to do so.

Practically every writer I know has faced rejection and braved harsh criticism to churn out words which have enthralled readers worldwide. What kept them going was their faith in their stories and a belief that they could and would do it.

Each and every story that is currently residing in our hearts is  awaiting its tryst with inspiration. Someone somewhere, maybe in a remote corner of the world  is waiting to be inspired by our words, someone is waiting to be entertained by it, someone is waiting to bond with the characters. Do we have a right to deprive those people of inspiration, entertainment or bonding? Even if our words motivate and inspire only a handful of people, or entertain the same number, isn’t that much more than what we hoped for when we typed that first word. So, don’t let anyone stop you from writing as you never know who you will Inspire with your story.

Doesn't the thought that someone is waiting for our story/book make us pull out  our WIP with renewed passion,  make us want to give it all that we can. Don’t we have a commitment to that person waiting eagerly for our collection of words?

Have you ever felt despaired, wondered why you were writing when all you encounter is closed doors. How do you cope with those  days? What keeps your faith intact? Please share. I am sure we all will be inspired by it.

P.S. Few of my writing friends  in India were depressed by the rejections piling up. I hope this post will motivate them and everyone else  to keep writing.


                                                 

29 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, Rachna. It is really Inspirational. Your friends are indeed lucky to have you motivate them so beautifully. I think everyone should read this again and again.

    I wish I was on Twitter, so I could tweet this to ensure everyone reads this post.

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  2. Writing is a lonely and tuff business. The end game is getting our stories into the hands of readers. You have to dust yourself off when you fall and pull yourself up by the bootstraps. It's tough, but we have to be tougher. =)

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  3. Nice post, Rachna. That quote is one of my favorites. Writing always comes down to acceptance or rejection. And even after acceptance, there comes more rejection. You've heard of "the thick skin?" Better get it, if you plan on becoming a published writer. :)

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  4. Wonderful advice! It is worth it when we persevere. We're building character along the way too:)
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  5. This was one of your best posts for me:) I had a rough week last week, three rejections and an editor who though my MCs were worse than the antagonist! I was seriously thinking I will never ever get fiction. Why am I even thinking I could. ANd then my kind writer friends cheered me on and reminded me why we do this.

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  6. I'm with Terri. This came at a perfect time for me. I have a hard time with confidence, and negative comments on a manuscript only deepen those feelings.

    What keeps me going is my husband and sons. They encourage me to keep going, to believe in myself. I might be in a funk for a day or two, but I always pick myself up and keep going.

    Thanks for your inspirational words!

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  7. What a great post, Rachna! And perfectly timed, with National Novel Writing Month just around the corner (http://nanowrimo.org). It takes a lot of determination to write 50,000 words in one month, and this is just the reason I needed to see it through. :)

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  8. Closed doors are everywhere in this industry but you're right, Rachna. We can't let that get us down.

    Jai

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  9. I try to remember that there is one door open, but I have to turn a lot of doorknobs before I find the one that opens.
    :)

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  10. Beautiful words! I am currently going through a lot of rejection since I am trying to get an agent, and I just remind myself that a rejection is a very subjective and impersonal thing. The agent isn't saying they don't think you are a good writer, they are just passing on the story for any number of reasons. Just keeping trying!

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  11. Arjun, I believe we should always motivate our friends.

    Anne, whoever thinks writing is easy needs to start writing to put it to test.

    Robyn, the writing career should come with an armour of really thick skin.

    Karen, I agree that perseverance and also hard work are the key to success.

    Terri, don't let anyone stop you from writing. Keep rewriting, editing and taking feedback from writing friends until your manuscript sparkles. And believe in yourself, that you can do it.

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  12. Julie, my confidence too keeps slipping, and I am depressed for a day or two, but I eventually manage to get myself out of the blues.

    Lia, NaNoWriMo does require a lot of determination and dedication. Wishing you all the best for NaNoWriMo.

    Jai, the writing world I feel has more closed doors than any other world. But we all are persistent and will keep trying. :)

    Lydia, your door atleast has a knob, mine does not. Seriously, sometimes I wonder that I should just enter from the window.

    Catherine, thanks. Glad you found the post inspirational.

    Alexia, one thing we should remember is that when an agent or editor turns down our book its not because we are bad writers or because the story sucks. Its for several reasons which have nothing to do with our writing.

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  13. You just have to have faith in yourself and keep going, Rachna. And I found Scribblerati on your blog and have joined, thanks for that. Carole.

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  14. Good words for us all as we head in to a new week of writing. Thanks for the inspiration! Love your blog. Thanks, too, for the new follow to my blog. I'm glad to meet you and look forward to checking in with you, too :-)

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  15. I love this post. I'll need to return to your encouraging words when I start to query again :)

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  16. If you believe in the story that you write, and you write it from your heart, chances are that someone, somewhere, will be interested in your manuscript.

    I was just very lucky, but I vowed I would do anything to help other writers .....

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  17. Ah, what a freeing and encouraging post. I do think it's easy to get bogged down with all the daily mechanics of writing. How refreshing to read a few paragraphs that point to the bigger picture. Gracias!

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  18. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I’ve become somewhat immune to rejection. I read this good advice on Nathan’s blog in the comments section, I think, where the writer advised sending out stuff expecting a rejection by default, and any other outcome as a pleasant surprise. I like this approach.

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  19. So who cares if you have to come in by a window? You'd still be in, wouldn't you?
    Hugs,
    Lydia

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  20. Just the words I needed. You're practicing what your preach, Rachna - inspiring writers with your words RIGHT NOW. Many thanks - and RT'ed on Twitter so others can experience the same rush I did when I read your post. Thx for comments on my blog (lizards aren't so bad)!

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  21. Great post, Rachna! I think everyone who has ever written anything for public consumption (even if it's only read to a critique partner) has gone through the gamut of emotions you describe. Whenever I'm down, I keep reminding myself that I'd get bored if getting published were too easy :).

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  22. I once received a comment from a critique buddy that stopped my from writing the story all together. Now years later, I realize this person simply didn't understand my genre. There are always going to be critical people. Learn, and it's hard to, to ignore them. Write what speaks to you so you can speak to others.
    Nancy

    I'm sorry I haven't bee back for awhile. I have been very sick.

    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  23. Oh Rachna, this is EXACTLY what I needed to read. I had one of those despairing days. Just got beta crits back. It was hard to take, but I know the suggestions will improve my story. What a lovely image, the person waiting. The reader who will connect with everything I've got inside. Thank you!!!!

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  24. I posted your blog award today. Again, a thank you for the Honest Scrap award.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  25. This is a FANTASTIC post Rachna! Something that every writer needs to hear at some point. For myself, I write all the time and always have ... whether someone else wanted to read it or not, I write to work my way through my own emotions or to understand the unpredictablity of people and/or life...Any form of art, writing, painting, drawing, music, dance; is a gift that we have been blessed with. It is a gift to be able to see life with the eye of an artist whether you be a verbal, oral, physical or visual...Artists have a depth to them that sometimes opens our hearts wide open but at other times allows us to touch someone with a well turned word or a beautiful painting....That is how I view writing. It is a gift. A gift I am eternally surprised at and thankful for.
    Thanks for the lovely inspirational words Rachna!
    - Kim x

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  26. Dear Rachna:
    This is an excellent post. You have brought out the bigger picture and that a writer must keep going and never, ever lose hope. A writer must indeed have grit, tenacity and determination. Indeed, how true is the altered saying, "Where there's a will, there's a highway!"
    By Heera Nawaz.

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  27. Very true.
    Can't say when lady luck will shine at you.

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  28. This was an excellent post. I am going to bookmark this page so that the next time I feel down about why I became a writer, I will go back to this post for my inspiration. Thank you very much. It is always good to find other like-minded individuals.
    Jason

    http://www.thejagreview.blogspot.com

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