There are some words that I particularly like to think about when it comes to writing. Perseverance is one of them. Fortitude is another. I like the way those words sound, and I like even more what they stand for.
It’s not always easy, this writing life. I wrote about rejection last week, but it’s more than that. I think one of the hardest aspects is doubt.
I am filled with doubt and ask myself:
Will I ever finish this?
Is it worth it? The time away from family and friends, away from needed chores, exercise or work - all the other things we could be doing.
Will I ever find an agent who wants to represent my work?
If I do, will an editor want to publish it?
If that happens, will people actually want to buy it?
The circle of doubt can go on and on.
But for me, the biggest doubt is always - can I actually write?
I doubt my ability to tell a compelling story. I doubt my ability to string together mesmerizing sentences or humorous lines. I definitely doubt my skills in creating a compelling plot. I doubt that anything I have written so far even makes sense. I doubt my right to sit on shelves amongst other award-winning authors and their books.
All this doubt, it’s exhausting.
But then I go back and read a page, and while it’s not perfect, a few of the lines make me smile. A few pages later, my heart breaks a bit for a character in my story. Then, best of all, I read something my character says that makes me laugh out loud.
So there’s hope. As with many things in life, we simply move forward in hope. That leads us to perseverance, and makes way for fortitude.
With that powerful combination of hope, perseverance, and fortitude we continue on. Keep taking it one day at a time, one page at a time. We try and remember the days when writing is joyful, to help us through the days when it’s not. We allow those powerful words to shine light in the darkness, to overcome the doubt, and keep moving us in the direction of our dreams.
“Consider not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations but your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
- Saint John XXIII