Friday, July 27, 2012

Gettin' Back on Track

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.

And just when I thought I had moved past all that circle-of-life stuff, just when I thought I got my groove on and was truly back on track (despite my writing still a little off-kilter), two little blips on the radar challenged me, again. Although they were relatively minor in the great scheme of things, they still attempted to knock me back.

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.


  1. Sounds like a great friend, Lisa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in feels. Even in strife and a wee bit in turmoil, your words are eloquently expressed and shared. Keep your chin up. I'm glad you are doing what you love, and continuing on with added focus and a bit of clarity. Big hugs from your #1 Fan. Jx

  2. Ok, it's a good thing you are the writer and not me, because that post needs some serious editing.

  3. not the post, my comment!! geesh!!

    1. Thank you, always, for your kind words - I understood you! Happy sewing and thanks for reading! Lisa

  4. I'm so glad the words flowed again, Lisa. Your writing makes the world a happier place!

    1. Thank you, Ros, for your kind words - and your help! Happy writing, and thanks for reading! Lisa