The struggling writer has kinda become a stereotype, hasn’t it?
Under the umbrella of “starving artist,” writers are commonly pegged as depressed, moody, and unsociable. Which makes sense, when you think about it: because writing is hard, and most often, it can be a solitary and lonely job.
So, admittedly, the stereotype isn’t 100% off. There are a lot of writers who fall into this category.
It’s even said that the best work comes from pain. I disagree.
I believe the best work comes from joy. But as a writer, it can be difficult to hold onto joy.
“When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.”
Psalm 94:19 (NIV
With that in mind, here are six affirmations to remember when the goin’ gets tough and the writin’ gets tougher. I wrote them based on what I’ve learned through my own personal struggles. I hope they mean as much to you as they do to me!
AFFIRMATIONS FOR THE STRUGGLING WRITER
1. NO ONE IS EVER AS GOOD AS THEY APPEAR ON INSTAGRAM.
The Instagram standard is high. Like, really high. If your photos aren’t pleasing to look at, you won’t get a lot of followers; or at least, you’ll get them at a way slower rate. It’s simple but cruel.
To stay on top of that standard, people will try hard to be noticed with their aesthetically-satisfying photos and inspiring captions. Everyone posts what’s attractive, and slaps a filter over what’s not.
In that ambition for engagement, people online are unlikely to share the harsh stuff. I’m guilty of it myself.
It’s hard nowadays to remember, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but here it is again: no one is as happy, as organized, or as “I’ve-got-my-life-together” as they are in their photos. Even your favorite inspirational account is going to struggle from time to time. You’re not alone.
2. YOUR WRITING IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN YOU THINK.
Have you ever shared your work with someone else, and they started gushing over it? They go on about how good it is, and you’re left here, dumbfounded.
Your writing is bound to sound boring and, well, not good. It’s totally normal to think that. Why?
Because you wrote it! You already know the rhythm of the words, and it tends to get monotonous after a while.
It’s like when you go to a friend’s house, and it has a distinct smell – vanilla, carpet, wood, maybe cat hair – while yours doesn’t. You don’t notice the inherit smells of your own home because you live there. You’re used to it.
But to someone who’s never been to your house, it’s new and exciting. They don’t feel the same way about your house that you do.
Your writing is the very same. It sounds familiar and dull to you, but to a new reader, it’s fresh and enthralling!
3. YOUR WRITING WILL NEVER BE PERFECT.
There’s a certain freedom in accepting that your writing is not perfect, and never will be.
You can strive and hustle and whatever else it is you do, but at the end of the day, you will fall short. Because we’re human.
That said: we can still work our butts off to make sure our work is as good as possible. Even if you aren’t where you want to be, the knowledge that you tried your best is reward enough!
4. ALL THE WORK YOU’RE PUTTING INTO YOUR WRITING WILL BE WORTH IT SOMEDAY.
Imagine holding your completed works in your hands.
Feel the cover; run your fingertips down the spine. Think about how many people will crack that spine as they read your work, your words. All the blood, sweat, and tears you poured into this project were worth it, because you finished, and it’s so much better than you imagined.
That will be your reality someday. Just keep working.
5. YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW, BUT THAT NEVER STOPPED YOU BEFORE.
You won’t always know what you’re doing, and hey, that’s okay!
As of this post’s date (July 2019) I’ve been working on my novel for almost three years and, let me tell you, I never knew what I was doing.
I’m just rolling with it; sometimes I make plans, sometimes I don’t. I’ve been wingin’ it since 2016.
Does that sound like you? If so, you’re not alone. I promise you, I don’t know a single writer who knows what they’re doing.
6. WORK HARD, REST HARD, AND BE PROUD OF YOURSELF!
Write down your goals.
Trial and error until you develop a good schedule.
Work as often as you can.
Take week-long breaks monthly to recharge.
You got this.