The rejection comes, the bad review gets posted, the sales report points downard, the contest judge bleeds all over your entry before dismissing it from the contest, and not even your mother wants to read your latest book. It’s one of those days. Ever had one? Or two…hundred?
Most writers have. If you haven’t, you will. Sorry, but it’s a “Murphy’s Law” kinda reality. The whole if-anything-can-go-wrong-it-will concept. On steroids. You can probably relate to whoever it was–most likely a writer–that amended Murphy’s law with the following painful truths:
- Murphy was an optimist
- The other line always moves faster
- The chance of the peanut butter & jelly sandwich falling face down is proportional to the cost of your carpet.
- Inside every large problem is a series of small problems struggling to get out.
- 90% of everything is crud.
- Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.
- Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone
Do yourself a favor and find a copy of Judith Viorst’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. You’ll be able to nod and chuckle at the same time. Been there…done that…maybe even there now. You understand how young Alexander feels, and, like him, you are thinking of “moving to Australia.” Perhaps not literally, but you’re so bummed out–dare we say “depressed” even?–that you want to get away from your writing. Yep, a mild pity-party is allowed. I’ll invite you to mine if you’ll invite me to yours.
If you are hurting, please take to heart these next words: If you tried, you are not a failure. Read the bold words again. One more time. The only writers who are failures are the ones who never try, never put themselves or their work out there, or never even write a word. You’re not a writer because someone else said you are or because one day you decided you would be one; you’re a writer because you write. You tried. And you will try again. Yes, your book or article may “fail” in the sense that it doesn’t get published, but that doesn’t mean YOU are a failure. Every writer knows failure. Sometimes has coffee with it on a regular basis.
Someone said, “It’s not failure, but low aim that’s a crime.”
And, yes, you knew it was coming, you really need to hear the words of Teddy Roosevelt again: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
If you are having on Alexanderish period in your life, please read one more quote. It’s the most important one of all the ones mentioned in this post, because it is from God’s Word.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)
People may not always love your writing, but God will always love the writer. That’s YOU. So write on, dear friend…write on.