Blogger: Rachel Zurakowski
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
I asked some published authors to share with us what they do when they become discouraged in their writing. This happens to everybody, even those who are published!
Authors still experience rejections and sometimes have heartbreaking things happen to them–like canceled contracts or books going out-of-print long before they should have. Sometimes an editor is let go from a publishing house when he or she was the person championing the project. There are many ways for an author to become discouraged in his or her writing.
These quotes come from authors who have experienced a hurt or two in their careers, but they didn’t quit. Here’s what they have to say in answer to the question, What keeps you writing when you are faced with discouragement?
“I have been discouraged twice when I received the ‘good news’ that I was getting a multiple book contact only to have it fall through because of a change in publishing direction. When I received the bad news on both accounts, I had a little pity-party, and then (eventually!) I surrendered myself and my writing to God. I knew He had a good plan for my writing… and if doors were closing, then there were perhaps other plans I didn’t know yet. I didn’t let these closed doors keep me from writing. Instead I looked at other areas where I felt God had been speaking to my heart. In both cases God brought different projects to replace the ones I lost…I also learned that this journey isn’t about me. It’s about God and what He’s doing in the world. I also learned that closed doors can be new opportunities to share God in ways I hadn’t thought of before!”
“My passion for story keeps me writing. I cannot not write. To quit is to forgo my purpose in life, and I’ll only do that when the casket is closed. Is it faith in the God who purposed me to write? Or is it the driving passion for story? Or is it both? I think it’s both.”
“Having to pay my bills, for one thing. 🙂 But more to the point, I keep writing because it’s my gift/talent from God, and I’m happiest and most content in my relationship with Him when I use it. Been doing so for 35+ years and have never resisted going to my desk to write–regardless of the outcome. Of course I have discouraging days like everyone, but for me, pushing through gets me through!”
“I try to set aside time to sit and listen and journal. It seems this is when the Lord always shows me the big picture and nudges me to the next step. Over the years I’ve ‘heard’ His direction more when I’m silent before Him than in all the long conversations I have with others about my woes.”
“Yesterday I was at a library speaking and a woman, enthralled by how many books I’d published, asked me,'”Can you tell me how you used to get through all those rejections?’ I said, ‘Used to? I just got a manuscript rejected three different times last week!’ With each point of success, there are new ways to fail, so keep your chin up. It’s not about avoiding failure. It’s about how you face it.”
“It’s only a book. Besides, in God’s economy my failures have taught me a lot more than my successes. Best to just keep pedaling.”
“I’m a writer. That’s what I do. So I keep on writing, no matter the circumstances. The reality is that I can’t not write. As for what gets me back on track when need be? My agent.”