NaNoWriMo has barley started and you’re giving up? If you quit at the starting line how the heck are you going to reach the finish line?
Okay. I understand the pressure and the frustration and the fear and the time crunch you have to contend with [really, I do] but don’t quit. Take a deep breath. Let your shoulders drop (it is okay if the world has to float on it’s own for a minute or two) and remind yourself why you took the challenge to begin with.
The above was my partial response to an aspiring author I sometimes guide (guide sounds less hoity-toity than mentor). She continually strives to improve her skill and decided to challenge herself this year with NaNoWriMo. I was so excited for her.
When she said she was throwing in the towel one week into the 30 day challenge my heart sank.
I had to remind myself of two things: #1 this is HER journey. #2 despondency is common among authors, young and old, aspiring and established alike.
The exchange ended with us both feeling more optimistic. For now.
Another handful of emails followed (not participants in WriMo) mostly venting about criticisms which they said too often feels like bullying.
I read some of the criticisms. Honestly, I considered most of the comments as constructive – a little blunt and crude but valid observations. Constructive criticism is valuable.
There were a few however that did have a malicious feel about them. Asshats!
It is not always easy doing what you love… what you feel driven to do… following your passion. Self-doubt is relentless and Asshats… don’t get me started?!!
Insecurity fluctuates; it lessens with experience as the skin thickens but don’t expect Asshats to turn into compassionate humanoids. Why? Because misery loves company.
I cannot count the number of times I have heard/felt, “I’m too old”, “I’m afraid”, “I am not good enough” or “I’ve been ridiculed/rejected”. Self-doubt
Nor can I count the times I have heard of/read/experienced pointless insults that serve no purpose other than to humiliate a person. Asshats
So it seems Asshats and uncertainty will always be a part of life; a thing we all have to contend with. “But how?” some ask. Don’t quit.
You can’t lie down and quit. I guess you could but then you would be in a coma. Being comatose is not the answer.
You can’t throat-punch or cuss everyone who hates on you. Well, you can but the fines start racking up and…
confess digress I think I’ll just send you to a more inspiring, graceful article.
Oops, a quick tip: Embrace your feelings (pain, anger, fear, etc.) and use them in your writing. Assign your feelings of defeat and grief to a character and then show the character how to overcome. It can be very healing.
Now check out the post by Joan Hall over at Story Empire and be sure to read the comments.
If you are not already following Story Empire you should.
Because they offer countless resources for writers (especially new writers) and they are a great group of people. They don’t allow Asshats and trolls to hang out there.