5 things I wished I’d known starting out as a writer………
5) Rejection will hurt a lot more than you think it will.
I always knew as a writer, as any artist, that rejection is just a fairly regular part of life…for every one publication comes rejection after rejection. But pouring your heart and soul into a project, until it’s your baby, and then having someone tell you that it isn’t good enough or right for their magazine, just flat out sucks.
It will hurt. Even after you get used to it, some days when you get that letter or email that says we don’t want you and it will still put you in a crappy mood. There will be days you will want to give up.
Most people don’t make it right away. Most people spend years of getting rejected before they ever make it. Oh and by make it, I mean published, not you just wrote the next Harry Potter……
4) Enjoy the successes
Every time you get a success, a publication or anything else, savor it.
In a world of rejection, you need this and you deserve it.
Pat yourself on the back. Toot your own horn and don’t ever let anyone give you flack for it. No matter what anyone says, art is hard work, you deserve it.
Don’t focus on your next project through it either, just take a deep breath and suck it all in.
3) People won’t consider your art a “real job” until you have GREAT success.
“You write. You submit. It takes like what five minutes?”
“You are only doing this because you don’t want a real job”
Even a part-time writer spends a huge chunk of their life for art, from the pre-thoughts, the drafts, the revision, and submission process. It takes up a lot of your life. And since, for many people it doesn’t pay well or quickly, it’s a job that takes up a lot of your life without providing you with monetary reward.
However, there are people out there who are just going to think you are a no good hippie, who doesn’t do real work.
Embrace it, laugh at it, and use it to fuel some awesome stories.
2) Writer’s block can last a long time and it will really suck
Writer’s block can be all-encompassing, to the point that you can’t even look at a page without becoming despondent, and can last for months even years.
The best advice I can give you, just keep on writing, even if it sucks. And it might suck. It might really suck. I’ve spent many a month working on projects to get me out of this zone only to look back at all of it and realize that it is utter crap. However, it keeps you writing, and that is what you need. So if all else fails, schedule a time in and write about anything and everything.
Nike said it right, just do it.
1) Keep Writing
I had a poetry teacher would told me that he thought I had the potential to be a great poet. I asked him how he could be sure. He said, well in 30 years if you are still writing, I will know. Whatever your craft, if you truly believe in it, keep with it.
Keep on writing. You can find success. And even if you don’t become Hemingway, your art can have great impact on yourself and on life.