Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Advice to Writers - Don't Give Up (No, seriously, I mean it. Yes, I'm talking to you.)



I'm taking part in Ruth Snyder's Blog Hop for Writers and this week's post is advice to beginning writers.

I really could just write three words here and be done with it....

DON'T GIVE UP

I know what you're thinking. "Okay, yeah, obviously. That's not useful advice. I KNOW that."

And, if you're like I was at the beginning, yeah, you do know that. Most writers understand that becoming an author is difficult. You'll face rejection. You'll struggle. Unless you're very delusional, you certainly don't think that writing is a "get rich quick scheme". It's more of a "get poor slowly" kind of a thing.

But, I still see too many writers giving up at different phases of the game. And, often, it's writers with real talent. The only good reason for giving up is if you don't enjoy writing. If so, why were you doing it in the first place? But, if like most writers, you love writing, then don't stop. Ever.

I think that writers know it's going to be tough, but I for one probably didn't understand exactly how tough it would be. And, that's not just while you're in query hell. Writing is hard after you signed with an agent or publisher. It's hard after you're published. It's hard after you become a bestseller (I assume :).) Most authors face a lot of setbacks. This is NORMAL. If writing and publishing is a roller coaster of emotions, then you're doing it right. And, if you really want to be an author, you can't let these bumps stop you, at any point.

Don't give up when you are rejected.
Don't give up when you are rejected a hundred times.
Don't give up when you get a bad review.
Don't give up when your first book doesn't sell well.
Don't give up when your one hundredth book doesn't sell well.
Don't give up if (insert any possible complaint here).

One thing to remember, there is a difference between giving up and changing your strategy. Yes, some projects and paths need to be abandoned. But, if you keep working at it, you'll keep learning, and keep getting better. So yeah, once again...DON'T GIVE UP.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent advice Sharon! I can't count the number of times I have wanted to give up over the years. Then I stop and think about how I would feel if I really wasn't writing anymore, and I know I have to keep going since not writing is just not an option. I give myself 24 hours to wallow after every rejection or bad review, then (try to) get over myself and move on. Stories of author after author getting rejection after rejection are helpful in that you learn it's just the nature of the business. It also helps to think of every rejection as a rite of passage, a way of earning your stripes as it were. And the harder it is, the more rewarding every little step forward becomes. Thank you for this inspiring reminder. (And I love the cover of Destruction, by the way - very intriguing.)

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  2. Sharon,
    Great advice! I like the way you stress many writers feel like giving up at different stages in their writing lives. You've reminded us that writing is hard work, but the love of writing is what keeps us going. Thanks for participating in the blog hop :)

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  3. very true. for me this hits home with query letters. i would rather write a thousand novels than sit down and write one query letter. i've had so much frustration on the matter that it's hard not to punch some innocent bystander. that being said, i will not give up, my query will eventually fall into place. nice advice :)

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  4. Awesome advice! I would post this on a wall where I can see it, but I had it tattoed to the inside of my eyelids. It worked too. :)

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  5. So true, Sharon. I appreciate the distinction you make between giving up and changing directions. And it's okay to have a fallow time too, if we need it. The writing will call us back. The only way to know we won't succeed is to quit. And then we'll always wonder what if. Don't want to do that!

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