Writers often share a common feeling of guilt (see last post). I loved ALL of your comments. You proved to me that writers do indeed share another trait: guts or the courage to press on against adversity.
Here are just a few of your comments that give us courage to press on against guilt:
Joanne: We don't clock in and out regularly, and so in some eyes, our work lacks authenticity. But it's important to set a precedent at home, to expect respect as much as we give it to others. And our children learn then, too, there are options as to how we all can earn a livelihood.
Terri Tiffany: I needed to look at my writing as a career first--then it followed everyone else did.
Christa Allan: Don't try to absolve yourself of guilt. Write through it, love them (family)through it, and just keep writing.
Careann (Carol): I think the most important thing I did was take my writing ability seriously. If we don't value ourselves and what we do as writers, no one else is going to either.
In today's writing industry, if we're serious about developing a career, then we can't hide behind our computer screens, send out a book, and cross our fingers for good luck.
If we want to succeed, then we need to have GUTS. We need the courage to dream big, the determination to persevere, and the daring to push forward against all obstacles, even against guilt.
We have to be willing to work infinite hours, get little affirmation, and wait a long time, perhaps even years, for any monetary reimbursement. We're battered by the ignorance and misunderstandings of those outside the industry and often rejected by those within. We may lack support from those closest to us, maybe even doubt our own abilities.
When we think of all we have going against us, it's amazing that we persevere at all. I can't think of too many other professions where the outlook is quite as bleak. If I was, say, a scientist, and I had to work endless hours, with no praise or pay, faced rejection, misunderstanding, and self-doubts day after day, would I stick with it? I doubt it. At the very least, I'd have to think seriously about giving up and doing something else.
It's easy to give up on the writing life. I know I've been tempted to quit a couple of times. But the thing about us writers, is that against all odds, we keep going. We have a passion for writing that won't die. And that passion gives us the guts to persevere.
Has the going ever gotten tough for you? Have you ever been tempted to give up your writing? What kept you going?
Take Five: Brunonia Barry and The Fifth Petal
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