This is for anyone ready to give up. (Hint: don’t give up!)
It’s OK to complain … sometimes
Everyone needs to vent. EVERYONE. It’s normal. It’s healthy. If you are frustrated about something, consult a fellow writing friend. Post about it on social media (everyone does it … just be smart about that, obviously). A little complaining every now and then is understandable. Being a writer sucks sometimes, we all know that. It honestly wouldn’t be worth it if it didn’t.
However, being frustrated and complaining a lot may make you feel better in the short term, but it doesn’t actually solve anything. If you want something to change, you need to be the one to make that happen.
There are things you can control, and things you can’t
Things you can control: your attitude; how often and how much you write; your goals and whether or not you make progress toward achieving them. Things you cannot control: other people’s response times; other people’s feedback and criticism; other people’s opinions; whether or not someone else decides to read/publish/like/dislike something you write.
In other words, you can control yourself, and no one else.
Focus on what you can control in your life as a writer. Every external factor that seems to be keeping you from writing what you want to write can be overcome. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes you cannot, in your current state, overcome that. Other times, you can. And you should.
You have to know what you want, and how you plan on getting it
We say this a lot here, and if you’re tired of hearing it, good: that means you’re listening. Every writer needs a goal. ‘Wanting to write for a living’ is not a goal. WHAT do you want to write? WHY do you want to write? WHICH platforms do you want to use? WHO is your audience? If you have no direction, you aren’t going to go anywhere. That’s why so many writers struggle with dissatisfaction. They don’t have a specific enough goal.
You not only have to know where you want to end up, but how you’re going to get to that point. Give yourself something to work toward; that will help you to stay positive even when it’s hard. And then, of course, you actually have to do something. Write, submit, repeat. Don’t wait for feedback or for an answer that may never come; just keep writing. Always have something to fall back on.
Things might seem awful right now, but they’ll get better. They always, always do.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
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