Handling The Low Points

Back to sharing the brilliant wisdom of others.  Here’s a great guest post by Jim C. Hines aptly titled Despair about how all writers at some time experience feelings of failure and inadequacy.  Actually, many times if they stick with this writing gig long enough.

A few key quotes:

“…none of us are born knowing how to write, which means that sometimes we’re going to fail. Writing is a process and a struggle, one that tends to be full of rejection.”

“Get a writer somewhere quiet, and most of us will admit to having had some bad times. Pretty much every long-term I’ve talked to has described at least one time they thought their career was over.”

The whole post is worth reading.  And it’s not all that long, either, so go read it.

The thing I remind myself of every day is that the only way I’m going to fail at this whole writing thing is if I quit trying.  Oh sure, it may take me the rest of my frickin’ life to succeed at it.  But I won’t fail unless I quit.

And I have to constantly look back and remind myself how far I’ve come.  I’m bummed about this month’s sales.  But then I realize that I have sales to be bummed about.  September I had none.  So the number for this month that’s lower than December and probably January is still better than that.

And I have new reviews!  Nice ones.  People read my stories and took the time to say something about them.  How cool is that?

Writing is a constant process of fighting against your own doubts and demons.  And realizing that almost every step of the writer’s journey seems designed to reinforce those negative voices in your head.  Months-long waits just to hear no.  Low odds of success.  The nightmare of discoverability.  Spending hours on a story or novel that no one else gets…

There’s only one way to get past it all.

Keep going.

And never ever stop for anything.  Pause and recover if you must, but never stop.

As they say in skydiving, keep fighting until your goggles fill with blood.


About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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