When it comes to writing, there are many different opinions on what the best part about it is. Sometimes, in my case, it also depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s the inspiration that’s so awesome, sometimes it’s the knowledge that I’m creating something that I can share with others. Sometimes, it’s looking back at what I’ve done and thinking, I did that! Me. Sometimes it’s seeing your characters come to life on the page and in your head.
But what about the worst part? Is it having your work rejected by someone—This isn’t good enough, go try again, sometimes even without the ‘go try again’ part? Is it that feeling inside of you saying, This is horrible, I can’t believe I wrote this, why am I still sitting here, looking at this? Or maybe, the worst part is something a little simpler. Writer’s block. The thing that happens when you find a plot hole, run out of ideas, have a character do something you didn’t expect, or something else.
You’re probably heard the advice before. Try something different. Change perspective, change the medium you’re working with, change the project your working on. Or, the other common one is to just keep going. Push past it. You can do it, so prove it to me!
Every writer has their highs and their lows. Life in general has highs and lows. So, let’s say you are at your lowest point. Your well of ideas is bone-dry. Your characters, which you thought you knew so well, suddenly seem like strangers. No one, family, friends, editor, or otherwise, seems interested in your story. They say, Oh, I’ll read it! then never do, or they ignore you entirely. You’re not good enough.
So, what do you do? Well, you have a few options. A. give up. This is, by far, the easiest choice. You think, Maybe they’re right. Maybe I’m not really good enough, and I should spend my time doing something else. You can go on, live your life peacefully. Deal with other problems with life. Or, there’s option B. Keep on going. This option has two things to itself, too. The first is to ignore what others say. I’m writing this for myself, so who cares what the others think! This is great. Sometimes, it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes, writing for just yourself is all you need to do. You have something you want to write, so you’re getting it out of your head. It doesn’t need to be published, or seen by anyone else. Or, there’s the other way of doing this. Just keep on going. No, I’m not good enough. But this is my first draft—it’s not supposed to be good enough. I can get better, just you watch and see.
This is a good place, I think, to point out the different between writers and ordinary people. Everyone, at least almost, has a story they want to write. A, hey, this is a neat idea! kind of thing. But you know what makes us different? We actually write it down. We sit down in front of the computer, or with a notebook and a pencil, and write down that idea. Being a writer doesn’t mean you’re published and famous. I mean, look at the word ‘writer’. The New Oxford American dictionary states it as:
A person who has written a particular text.
Now what if we break the word up? ‘Write’:
mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement.
denoting a person, animal, or thing that performs a specified action or activity.
Alright, so that means the same thing. A person who writes something down, right? It’s a lot simpler than we make it out to be.
So, the point of this (really) long ramble is this—next time you run into one of your lows, remember that. You’re trying to write this down, writer’s block, rejection, or no. You got something down. So many of us are stuck with the stigma of, I can’t write stories. Whether it’s a lack of talent, time, “cool enough ideas”, or whatever, they never try.