So, am I the only one noticing how hard and frustrating the publishing business is getting?
Ha. I didn’t think so.
Things are changing fast and more and more, I realize that writers need encouragement. It’s a hard business to break into, it’s easy to lose hope, and you just want to hear something positive every now and then. I was wondering what I could say today that would be encouraging, then I started pondering… what exactly do we mean by encouragement, anyway?
Sometimes the encouragement writers want is for someone to say, “It’s not that hard. You can do it.” And the reason you keep feeling discouraged is because people keep telling you the opposite. “It’s hard. This is a challenging and competitive business.”
I don’t think anyone is trying to discourage you — at least I’m not. But I do try to tell the truth. There’s no point in having a false sense of optimism about publishing; it only leads to disappointment. But if reality is not all rosy, can we still somehow find encouragement in it?
Encouragement (according to Webster’s) is something that gives you courage, or inspires you or gives you hope. Something that spurs you on, stimulates you, incites you to action.
I think hearing the difficult truth can be encouraging, because it forces you to make an internal decision:
Am I up for this, or not? How much am I willing to give this? How badly do I want it?
If you have passion and drive, this is the time you rise up and say to yourself, yes, I can do this. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it takes work, perhaps more than I’d want. But I can do this. When you go through this soul-searching and come out more determined than ever, you’ve found your encouragement. You’ve found your hope.
All the platitudes in the world, camouflaged as encouraging words, aren’t going to do you any good. Only the truth can get you where you want to go. The truth separates the passionate from the daydreamers. The truth leads you to the resolve—the courage, the grit, the sheer perseverance—you’ll need in order to find success as a writer.
So let me ask you:
How do you find encouragement in the midst of this difficult business?
Does the challenging nature of it tend to beat you down, or spur you on… or do you alternate between extremes?
EXTRA: I’m also blogging over at ACFW today, looking at Genesis 1 and asking, “Do You Have Enough Thinking Time?“[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]