A Little Push

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

29. Encourage other writers to keep going

I suspect that it is an inevitable truth that at some point (and possibly multiple, regularly occurring points) every writer feels like giving up. Whether you’re an amateur working on your first real manuscript or a published professional having issues in editing, writers are a naturally self-depreciating breed. As my rage comic indicated, we have a tendency to flow through repeating stages of “I’m so awesome!” and “I’m such a hack!” It is a tendency we share with artists, musicians, and other creative peoples who put a little piece of their own selves into their work.

Some of this constant shift in attitude can be attributed to physiology (moods, hormones, emotional state due to outside forces, etc), but much of it is likely due to the lifestyle of a writer and the inability of people in general to fairly, and without bias, judge themselves.

The lifestyle may break may would-be writers because they simply can’t (or feel that they can’t) handle it. The life of a writer may seem simple and carefree to many, but in reality it can be very stressful and difficult. Deadlines may lead to anxiety and burnout. Disagreements with editors and agents can cause frustration and a feeling of losing creative control. Rejections from published and poor critiques/reviews can create doubt, depression, and the belief that you’ll never be successful. It’s a mentally and emotionally exhausting situation to volunteer for.

And then there’s that bit about being unable to judge ourselves. As humans, we are notorious for this, not just involving creative processes, but in every aspect of our lives. One only needs to observe drivers on the highway to understand the concept. Everyone on the road believes that they are an excellent driver, while everyone else is a dangerous SOB who needs to be arrested. It’s the same with writers, except that in our case it works at both ends of the spectrum. Either you think you rock (even if you don’t) while everyone else is a hack, or else everyone else is amazing while you’re a miserable failure (even if you aren’t).

So, in conclusion, being a writer is wrought with emotional distress, time management impossibilities, peer-to-peer conflict, pain of rejection, and psychological issues, and on top of all that you might never become successful enough to make a living out of it.

And here I am, supposedly about to tell you to keep going. Hmm…

Here’s the thing…have you ever heard the phrase that nothing worth doing is easy? While it may not be a logical descriptor for every person in every situation, it still rings true a good deal of the time. Do you think the athletes who go to the Olympics just breeze through the events without any training? Do you think young army recruits just walk through the door and all of a sudden they’re a high-ranking officer? Hell, do you think pregnant women just have a squat and a grunt and a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby just pops out?

If you really care about something – genuinely want it with all your heart, then you’ll do what you have to do and endure what you have to endure to make that dream a reality. Olympians know that they’re going to have to push their bodies to the limit, but they crave that gold, so they move through it. Privates-in-training know they’re going to be trained hard and disparaged at every turn, but they want to serve, so they deal with it. And women know damn well that childbirth is like to be a painful, miserable event that makes them feel like they’re going to die, but they want to bring a life into the world so they damn well manage it.

So if you really want to be a writer, write. Put your heart and soul into it and deal with whatever you have to deal with as a result, because in the end that’s the only true way to get what you want. You have to be willing to do whatever is necessary, end of discussion. If you aren’t willing, well…I guess you didn’t really want it very much in the first place, did you?

Rage Writer is Raging

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

21. Create a cartoon about writing

I had originally planned to sketch something out by hand since it’s been a while since I drew, well…anything. Unfortunately I ran out of time and I am now very, very far away from any form of scanning equipment. As such, you get an awesomely-pasted-together rage comic. I think it accurately portrays the creative process.

The Cure for What Ailes Ya

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

13. Overcoming writer’s block

Truly one of the most frustrating parts of writing. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it’s like your brain just turns off and nothing will come out. Or what does come out is complete, unadulterated crap. Either way, it can leave you feeling pretty useless.

My personal cure for writer’s block sounds a little dumb, but I swear it works…write fan fiction. No really! Fan fiction is great for writer’s block because the world, the characters, and all the important information is already created for you. All that’s left is to make something happen with all that information. Even better, take something that exists as other-than-written media (like tv shows, video games, etc) and write it out in novel form. It can be very interesting to use your imagination to flesh out visual media by writing it out in novel form, and it really gets the creative juices flowing. Writing a page or two of my Final Fantasy fan fiction (which is just a novelized telling of Final Fantasy III/VI) always gets me ready and able to move back to something original. 🙂