Insecure Writers Support Group, started by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh. Once a month we writers help each other out by listening to our fellow authors as they air their doubts, rave about their triumphs and so on. We gather to show each other support. If you haven't joined, please do, all are welcome.
Today I want to talk about that time when things are at their darkest. When schedules have gotten so clogged with family stuff, day job commitments and other non-writing business that there is no time to sit with your stories or edits. That time when you've finished your query, sent your baby out and now the rejections are piling up like sandbags before flood waters. That time when you just can't seem to figure out what to do with the sagging middle and if you look at those characters in that room with the drugs one more time, you are going rip out your hair and run screaming into the night. Those times when you are just burned out with that novel and wonder why the heck you started down this road to begin with.
This is the test for a writer. Do we have what it takes to persevere and cross the line in gold medal fashion? I say...Yes. You. Do. In watching the Olympics, I have seen athletes in complete disarray, shattered by pain and mistakes, rise up and fight for their dream, that Olympic medal, that personal best. You must find it within you to keep going, victory is just ahead. That saying darkest before dawn comes to mind. It's an old cliche because it is true. When we are closest to realizing our dreams, to finally finishing, the demons get bigger, the obstacles seem insurmountable. This is when we must dig deepest and find it within us to forge ahead with that fourth round of revisions we were told were necessary, to send out more queries, though our rejections could wallpaper the entire Sistine Chapel, to find a way to get those characters out of that drug room.
Reaching for the stars is hell, but oh so worth it. You can do it, keep writing, keep fighting, keep sending out your work. You will find your way through these setbacks, this burnout, these rejections...I believe that with all my heart. If I didn't, I would not be published. I would be sitting in a cubicle, stressed out with an ulcer while Maxie, Ryanne, Nathan and my other characters all gathered dust under my bed. Things still get horrible and I still sit in a cubicle, but the walls don't seem so close because every once in a while, I see stars.
Keep on writing!