Sometimes I look at this blog on days when writing just doesn’t seem to be a possibility. I want to add something, but I can’t do it. When I’m on assignment for a website or magazine, I can always turn it out. The writing is good, it’s on time, and it brings in the money. But with my own personal, precious blog, I do experience a bit of writer’s block from time to time. Mostly it’s just a sense of worry. Will the words be silly? Will they matter to the readers? Is anyone reading this anyway?
Recently I was turned down for a freelance writing project I wanted very badly. It was a sad day in Jensyville. I read and re-read the writing sample I had submitted many times. I knew it was good. It just wasn’t the right voice for the publication. These are the types of setbacks that everyone goes through, but I was very angry with myself. Why didn’t I get it right? Had I not paid enough attention to the specifics of the assignment? Would I ever be able to elevate my voice to tackle items aimed at a different audience? Should that even be a goal?
Le Grand Sigh. These are tough questions. I don’t have all the answers yet and I don’t know if I ever will. But when you hear no, the knee-jerk reaction can sometimes be to stop trying. I wallowed in my grief over the lost assignment for a few days, and admittedly abandoned this blog. I just felt down, and didn’t see the point. I put everything on pause.
But then I remembered what an old professor at Middlebury once told me:
“If you want to be a great writer, you must write.”
And so that is what I will do.
The thing is, finding success as a writer is one of those things that I believe I will be working at for a very long time indeed. It won’t end when I lose interest in lip gloss, celebrities, or bridal magazines. (Though I doubt I will ever lose interest in those things!) It will be my life’s work and I am okay with that. In fact, I am great with that.
You must work through obstacles, whether big-picture anxieties or simple cat-on-keyboard roadblocks.
Wouldn’t you know that a mere week after suffering the loss of this potential opportunity, another one came along, and I got it? I have a wonderful, challenging, exciting new project on the horizon and I am so pleased.
Friends, the only person who has a true, limitless, unwavering interest in your personal and professional success is you. If you let yourself down, who else is there to fix it? So, if you want to be writer, you must write. Whatever it is that you want, you must do it. Do not press pause on your dreams, now, tomorrow, or ever.