Saturday, September 19, 2015

What a Writer! - What to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

Just like everybody else, there are moments in writers' lives that they need someone to make them feel that what they are doing matters - that someone cares. But most of the time when you are a writer, especially a freelancer, you're on your own.

There is no one to pat you on the back. No one to tell you that you did a good job or not. You'll only hear people tell something about your work after you already spent a week, a month or even a year in solitary while working on your project. It's part of the job but sometimes it is so hard to lift your own spirit. One day, you'll just find yourself talking to yourself saying, "You can do it!" while tears are streaming down your face.

Whenever I feel like giving up, I keep reading aloud the story, "Covering All The Bases" from the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open The Heart and Rekindle The Spirit.

  A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat. "Im the greatest baseball player in the world," he said proudly. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, "I'm the greatest player ever!" He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine bat and ball carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, "Im the greatest baseball player who ever lived." He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.
  "Wow!" he exclaimed. "What a pitcher!" Source Unknown

From this short story, I am able to proudly tell myself the following:

I am the greatest writer in the world. There should be no shame of telling ourselves that we are the best. We are free to believe what we want to believe. By believing that we are the best, we turn out to always do the best we can to prove it.

I am the greatest learner in the world ever. There is nothing wrong to incorrectly spell a hard word the first time. It is not a mortal sin to miss the proper usage of the tenses of the verb once or twice. It is not the end of the world if  you are not yet familiar to all the citation styles. What is wrong is to commit the same mistakes and not to work hard to master the do's and don'ts in your chosen field. 

What a reader! When you think you already did everything you can, do it again. When you strongly believe that you tried all the things that you can try but you still cannot be the writer you want to be, try again. When you got tired doing and trying the same thing, take a pause. Maybe that's why it doesn't work; you are doing and trying the exact thing that makes you fail. 

Take a break. Read an inspirational story like I do. Read more about writing. Read about anything that interest you. Read and read until you take what you need then give back by living lovingly and laughing intensely. Then, go back to writing because that's how you make a living.