It is extremely hard to write when our confidence has been zapped. Has anyone been there? I have been. *waves hand* Sometimes the funk lasts for a week or so. I’ve realized one thing. No one is going to pull me out of it except myself.
- A first critique of your first chapter when you figured you didn’t have to revise because your writing was so good.
- A first form rejection letter from an agent or editor.
- A first or second or third negative review.
- A first, second, third or fourth pass on a full manuscript request.
- A hard critique after you’ve revised a million times.
- Every time you jump on Twitter or the blue boards, all you see are book deals and agent signings. (Okay, this mainly is hard when you’re already down to begin with.)
- You read a super, awesome, terrific, better than licking-the-brownie-batter-off-the- bottom-of-the-bowl book. The kind of book you wish you’d written. And realize you might never be able to. Or you feel that way.
Okay, these are just somewhat valid reasons why a writer could feel discouraged. There are always the invalid reasons like: it’s raining or the kids squeezed the toothpaste all over the sink and peed on the floor or you don’t like your new haircut or the wind changed directions or you’re exhausted. The list could go on forever.
- Pressing send for the first time.
- A first personal rejection with some compliments.
- A first partial or full request.
- I’m just going to guess and say signing with an agent or getting a book deal.
- A kind, encouraging word from a writer friend.
- The idea that self-publishing is losing its stigma. And is a valid option.
- Brainstorming and getting ideas.
- Feeling that first draft love.
- The realization that rejections really aren’t personal.
- Learning to separate yourself from the process. (Hard. To. Do.)
- Watching a great movie or book and feeling inspired.
And I think the biggest confidence booster is having realistic expectations. To be able to judge your writing and realize you’re learning but still have work to do. And to be happy and content with where you are on the journey.
What pulls you out of a funk of discouragement? Or what puts you there?