Writing isn’t Fair (Nothing is and That’s Okay)

The writer’s journey is long and arduous.  It is replete with discouragement, failure, and struggles.  People who write do it because they have an innate need within them, yet it can be frustrating because finding an audience can feel like banging our heads against a wall.  Many folks who have the calling to be writers give up after a little while due to the difficulty of breaking into the market.  I empathize with these people, however, anything worthwhile in life is difficult.

Anyone who is no longer a small child knows that life isn’t easy or fair.  Things happen, unexpected challenges or tragedies hit that are out of our control.  Sometimes the challenges we face are our own doing.  Somewhere along our lives we have sewn seeds out of foolishness or weakness and when the harvest came, we were devastated by the results.

The same is true of writing.  When we are new, no matter how talented, we make mistakes.  The first versions of my first book were rough around the edges despite rigorous editing.  The simple fact is that I had and still have much to learn.  If we are going to succeed in the writing world we need to persist and understand that it’s hard.  Sometimes the challenges are self-inflicted, even if they are unintended.

What are we to do?  Persist, if you are really called to be a writer then persist and continually refine your craft.  You need to answer for yourself if it is a calling or a hobby.  There is a difference.  Realizing that writing for an audience isn’t your thing is okay.  Sometimes it takes facing difficulties to force us to analyze just how far we should take our goals.  However, giving up simply because it’s hard will mean we will never gain the rewards of pursuing our dreams.  This is a personal decision for each person dipping his/her toes in the writing world.

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What Drives Your Writing?

Writing is challenging, getting people to care about what you wrote is more challenging.  There are many people who start out writing, become disappointed and get spit out of the grinder disillusioned, depressed, and feeling like they failed.  I know, that’s not an uplifting thought, but it is a reality.  Writing for a few months or even a few years and expecting millions of book sales or blog views is typically unrealistic.  If you are like me you chose to write not because it is easy, but it is what you were made to do.  You know that there may only acquire a few dozen fans, but you keep going because you must.  What drives you to write?

Anyone who says “I don’t care if anyone reads my stuff” is lying.  We writers what an audience, an actor doesn’t act for himself and a writer doesn’t write completely for himself either.  Yes, there is a component of finding fulfillment in what we do for the sake of doing it.  Writing for ourselves isn’t sustainable unless it’s a diary. If you are made to be a writer you will want an audience, even if that audience is small.  Those who do not know their drive and never acquire that audience are the ones who give up.

Now with that out of the way, I’m not saying people cannot enjoy writing a journal for themselves.  That is a hobby and is fulfilling and healthy.  My point is that if you have the calling, the drive, the making of a writer, then you will not be satisfied writing only for yourself for the rest of your life.  Finding the audience and keeping their interest is difficult and can be discouraging if you let it.  Besides understanding that you are called to write, know more of why you are writing.  Is it to bring hope?  Is it to entertain?  Is it to speak truth?

Knowing the details of what motivates you to write is important to stave off discouragement.  So why do you write? What would you like to achieve with your writing?

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