A personal crisis knocked my legs out from under me, and I struggled to get up and back on track. I was rattled but with time was able to cope and move on. Life happens - it keeps moving and changing - and so must I. And I did.
It was hard to keep writing, but writers are supposed to write no matter what – if they’re serious about it. After a small hiatus I was determined to get writing again, despite feeling the aftershocks from the crisis. I was proud of myself for the gumption to keep going, but I was stumbling and tripping around my written words, and it showed. My mind was elsewhere, and slowly my self-confidence began to suffer. But I kept going, despite days of no ideas and garbled words.
I received rejections for my writing two days in a row. The first rejection was hard to take, but I didn’t let it completely bring me down. I pouted for an hour or two, then got over it. Even though this particular market I am aiming for is a tough one to break into, my determination keeps me writing and submitting.
The other rejection was for a project I held near and dear to my heart. A preliminary ‘yes’ had me so close to publication with them, but alas, a final ‘no’ was to be my fate. But along with it came words of ‘fantastic story, always great writing - but the piece just doesn’t work for our publication.’ Those words helped cushion the blow – a bit.
As the saying goes, ‘It’s not personal, it’s just business.’
Given this was my second rejection in two days with the shadow of the previous crisis still looming, I was starting to waver a bit, and I struggled to shake it off as easily. I realized I was still a little fragile and my self-esteem and confidence were in a delicate state. But still, I continued. Along with perseverance, I tapped into every self-help resource I could muster: self-talk, exercise, and eating chocolate by the truckload (which only gave me the shakes) (and a pimple). I kept telling myself that confidence comes from within. I belong to a writing group, but I didn’t reach out to anyone from the group. I kept pushing myself, but what writing did come out of me was often disjointed and convoluted – my ideas almost non-existent. I sometimes had moments of panic where I thought ‘I am no longer a writer.’
And then one day out of the blue I had a moment of clarity! I came up with a topic for an article, and after some thinking and planning I started writing. It was full steam ahead; I was excited and I was doing great. But then halfway through I floundered and started second-guessing my idea and my writing. I ran it by my writing friend (you know who you are) to see if it was a good idea, if it was worthy of writing, and if it made sense. She knew of my recent personal challenges, but didn’t know I was struggling with my writing. She came back with words of encouragement, complimenting my writing and expressing her confidence in my ‘way with words.’
She gave me the boost I needed. Maybe it was coincidental – her kind words at the right time when I was ‘moving on’ – I don’t know. But what I do know is where I was previously stumbling along, her support was what I needed to kick myself back into high gear.
I returned to my article and everything flowed. And with that my writing improved.
Through it all I learned that time heals and to allow for that time. Everyone – every writer – has good days and bad days, and perseverance and determination do pay off. Writing does not have to be a solitary existence. I learned why writers have writer friends. Bouncing the idea off her was what I needed, and keeping myself focused on trying to write, even if it was crap (and no matter how frustrating), was what saw me through a troubled writing time.
Even though it was business, it was also personal – thanks go to her for unknowingly getting me back on track.