Determination no matter what
Nothing could apply more to publishing. We are down to the final days of NaNoWriMo, and I bet some of you are facing a lack motivation to reach the end…or maybe you’re facing the daunting task of what’s next (revisions! Uh, yay…?).
You’re not alone.
Writing is never, EVER an easy process.
There are easy days, but most days are hard.
There are easy sentences and easy scenes, but most are a pain to squeeze out.
There are days when motivation and inspiration are bursting from your fingertips, but most days, it’s a trial to even sit at the computer.
There are novels that pour forth easily, but most novels are an agonizing process of labor and frustration.
And there are days that you love what you do and days you hate it.
It is okay.
You are not alone.
Whenever those hard moments strike–and they will be more often than not–you must simply say, “It’s okay because I refuse to give up.”
When a rejection from an agent rolls in again, you must say, “Okay, maybe next time” and then send out more query letters.
When a scene or character refuses to cooperate, you must say, “Okay, I’ll keep working until I get it sorted out.”
When your motivation flags, you must say, “Okay. I will BICHOK anyway.”
When your publisher cancels your series, you must say, “Okay, I will write another series and then another until something else sells.”
When your crit partner or editor doesn’t like your book, you must say, “Okay, I will fix it until it’s good enough.”
When all of your friends get book deals or better deals than you, you must say, “Okay, it’s not a race. I will sell my book one day too.”
When things seem hard,
you must never, EVER give up.
I cannot count how many times I have met a “writer” who I knew would never get published. They claimed they loved to write and wanted to sell a book…one day. But if you really mean what you’re saying–if you actually WANT this publication dream enough to achieve it, then you can’t wait for “one day”. I don’t mean you shouldn’t wait for one day–I mean you CAN’T. It is in your blood to write, and by golly, nothing can keep you from the keyboard.
If you want to write, then write right now.
It’s okay, of course, if you don’t do it now. There will be many times in life when other things take priority over writing, and that’s FINE. But don’t expect to get published if you make your writing a low priority–or don’t prioritize it at all.
Writing is a job, and you must treat it as one to succeed.
To be a writer, you must be disciplined–yes, there is no denying this. But discipline can sometimes face obstacles.
And always–always–more rejection.
But you cannot let these stop you.
Let your determination outweigh your impatience.
Let your determination outweigh your fear of failure.
Because in the end, the only thing that decides whether or not you succeed is YOU. Only you can choose when you have failed.
Yes, there are some who will achieve success through sheer dumb luck.
But most of us get there by sheer stubbornness. So…
And one day, you’ll get exactly where you want to be.
November 26, 2012 @ 2:21 pm
Thanks so much for the inspiration Susan. I feel like putting your post up on my wall.
November 26, 2012 @ 5:46 pm
Even I was feeling way more inspired and motivated as I wrote this! It’s advice *I* have to remember too–especially with a looming NaNo end and deadlines! WE CAN DO IT!!!
November 26, 2012 @ 4:26 pm
Oh. My. God! One of the most inspirational posts I’ve read. I want to print it out, frame it and put it next to my writing desk for all those times that I want to give up! Thank you so much. I think writing is a bit like tennis and probably a lot of other sports too, 10% talent and 90% mental!
Hope your revisions and new project are going well! xo
November 26, 2012 @ 5:47 pm
<3 Thanks! I'm so glad you got something out of it. Ironically, I'm feeling a bit thwarted lately, so this post was perfect timing for me to WRITE! 😀
November 26, 2012 @ 7:53 pm
This is where I’m at, and it’s so awesome to hear such encouraging words from someone who’s been there! Thank you for sharing this 🙂
November 27, 2012 @ 10:15 pm
You’re so welcome. WE CAN DO ITTTT!!!
November 26, 2012 @ 8:01 pm
Wow, Sooz, you honestly have GREAT timing haha…..am feeling a bit frustrated with my NaNo project…realizing how much research I need to do for the second draft, where things aren’t working, what doesn’t make sense about the story. A friend of mine came over for dinner the other night and started asking questions about it. I was keen to tell him all about it but then he started asking questions I didn’t know the answer to.
And you know what? I didn’t feel depressed or down because I didn’t know, I just thought, well, there’s still loads of work to be done. That’s alright!
Haha, I have like this faith in my writing, that yes, right now its messy and I’m learning…but am hoping someday it will work out, I will be a published writer. But I DO have to jump through the hoops and I do have to slog it through. Again, that’s alright.
You have to try and enjoy the crazy journey too, right?
Aw, thanks again. Really good timing 😉
November 27, 2012 @ 10:15 pm
I am ALSO frustrated with my NaNo project…that’s so normal at this phase for any book. At least for me, anyway. I always hit this point of, “OMG, what the heck have I written and how can I EVER make this into a viable story?” But…somehow I always do. 😉 So I’m certain you can too. We just have to keep on working. <3
November 26, 2012 @ 10:25 pm
I love this! I think discipline is the number one thing you need to be a successful writer. It takes so much!
November 27, 2012 @ 10:14 pm
Discipline is really the maker/breaker for writers. If you don’t have that then there’s no way you’ll ever get a book deal. End of story. 😛
November 26, 2012 @ 11:22 pm
Dude…you’re awesome, and this post is all kinds of needed on my end right now. I know the truth in what you’re saying. I’m writing my current MS with the goal to query it (after 500 million revisions of course)…but right now it’s really hard to love that pile of slush, though I am trying.
The irony is, I still love writing scenes for it, but I have to fix something, and I am worried that the fixing will require an entire rewrite. Which of course I will do, if that’s what it takes, but I was really kind of looking forward to editing. :/
Anyway, thanks for the awesome advice/reminder. Major cookie points to you. 🙂
November 27, 2012 @ 10:13 pm
Awwww, thanks. I’m glad this was motivational for you. I am LOATHING my current pile of crud that is supposed to be book 3…and the looming February deadline is really starting to look terrifying. How, how, HOW can I not only finish writing but turn it into a real book before then?? I don’t know, but somehow I will!! 😀
November 27, 2012 @ 3:46 pm
Love that last line “most are here by sheer stubborness.” I think this is the biggest motivator for me. Just knowing I’m doing the right thing. Keeping my head down and not giving up. Thanks for this post–it’s a great reminder for all writers no matter what stage we’re in. xx
November 27, 2012 @ 10:12 pm
Stubbornness is the only thing that keeps me going! Honestly, I had a lot of road blocks before I got an agent or a book deal, but I’ve hit so many more SINCE, that the only reason I can get up every morning and keep on writing is because I REFUSE to give up. 😀 That’s really what it takes to make it in this industry. 😉
November 27, 2012 @ 4:37 pm
This is very inspiring. Thank you 🙂 I’ve been silently watching the NaNoWriMo battles on Twitter (always when I’m at work and am unable to jump in). But I’m still on track to finish!
November 27, 2012 @ 10:11 pm
Darn! Too bad you’re always at work…we’ll have to try do some on weekends or whenever you’re free!! I hope to keep doing them long after NaNo ends. 😉
C. A. Mitchell
November 27, 2012 @ 5:35 pm
I feel all nice and fuzzy now 🙂
November 27, 2012 @ 10:11 pm
<333 Aw. I'm glad. 😀
November 27, 2012 @ 8:19 pm
A wonderful post! I have been so inspired this NaNo, not just by the concept itself (though it’s a great one!) but by the kindness, generosity of spirit, and encouragement from authors like yourself, and Sarah J Maas, especially, but also all the others who answered questions in the forums, and kept people pumped on Twitter, and blogged.
It has really made me feel as though there’s a whole community behind me, willing me to “win” not just NaNo but the whole damn book writing thing. I’ll be very sad when this week’s over!
November 27, 2012 @ 10:10 pm
This is why I always LOVE NaNo–even if I don’t finish or fully participate. I just love how much ENERGY there is from both published and aspiring authors. I will also be sad…but I’m hoping we can continue the writing battle. Those have helped me so much!
November 27, 2012 @ 10:40 pm
Yay, battles! I’d love to keep playing. Even when I don’t think I’m going to focus on them properly I still usually get the odd 500 words, which is awesome. 🙂
Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)
November 28, 2012 @ 5:44 am
This post – it’s SO inspirational. I love it because what you had to say – well, it’s the truth! Only determination will ever result in a writer becoming… well, a writer! And it is determination that has helped me make it so far in terms of NaNo this month. Thanks for the pep talk! 😉
November 28, 2012 @ 4:35 pm
This post is all sorts of awesome! Makes me feel warm inside and totally pumped for next part after Nano is over. I actually spent a lot of my Thanksgiving break just writing so I finished last week and had it printed. I kind of can’t stop looking at it or touching it–since this is the first time I’ve ever really done something like this. I’m excited for what’s going to happen next but I know it’s going to be a difficult journey, which is definitely not going to stop me. Thanks for this amazing post! 😀
November 29, 2012 @ 5:04 pm
This is so beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for posting! It’s just what I needed to hear at this final stretch of NaNo. Even though I know I’m not going to win and I’m frustrated by my low word count, I still feel motivated and inspired to keep going, and that’s what matters. This post reminds me that yes, writing a book is a constant struggle, and it’s frustrating, but as long as I’m determined to keep going, I’m doing what I need to be doing. I’ll keep writing after this month is over and well into the new year if need be because I’m committed to writing, and I’m committed to my lovely mess of a book, and NaNo has given me such a great start on it. I’ve learned so much about myself as a writer this past month, and that’s good enough for me. 🙂
November 30, 2012 @ 12:01 am
You are awesome, Susan. xo