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3 Ways to Counteract Self-Sabotage

Years ago I surveyed my mailing list and got back about 500 responses. My main question I posed was this: “What is your most pressing problem when it comes to your writing?” Hands down, the most prevalent response was the difficulty in finishing a project.

There are a lot of reasons we don’t get the writing done, and often fear is at the center. Fears can be real, valid, and substantial. They can also be illusive—ones we fabricate or blow out of proportion because we aren’t ready or willing to deal with the fears.

I like to face my fear by asking myself: “What’s the worst that could happen?” When it comes to finishing a book and considering publishing it or sending queries to agents, writers often fear rejection. What if every agent rejects your manuscript? What if you self-publish and readers hate your book and you get all one-star reviews? What if no one buys your book?

These are valid fears. But they’re not life-threatening. If these things happen, we aren’t going to die. Our career isn’t down for the count.

It’s always easier to give in to the fear and avoid risk. And one of the ways we do this is via self-sabotaging. Continue Reading…

When You’re Not Motivated to Write

I’m reposting this post because I feel it’s so timely. Many are struggling with concentration and motivation, and maybe it’s not the time for you to write or expect so much from yourself. I hope this material encourages you.

For everything, there is a season. So says the wise writer of Ecclesiastes (King Solomon). Some of us were first introduced to this aphorism with the Byrds’ famous song “Turn, Turn, Turn.” I think as we get older, we truly understand the truth about seasons in our lives. They are part of the natural cycle of things, and while we often buck the cycle, we do better if we ride with it.

What am I talking about? The seasons of writing and refraining from writing. Just as there is “a time to plant and a time to reap, a time to laugh and a time to weep,” there is a time to write and a time to not write.

I feel it’s important to consider this, for many reasons. The whole point of Solomon’s words, to me, is acceptance. “This is the way things work,” he seems to be saying. Just as the seasons of the earth come and go in cyclical cadence, everything in our lives works similarly. Why should writing be any different? Continue Reading…

How to Overcome Discouragement as an Author

Today’s guest post is by Emma Eggleston.

Writing is your passion. You spend hours dreaming up the perfect characters and their marvelous adventures, months writing the first draft, and weeks rewriting, editing, and tweaking your work.

All your friends and family have read your manuscript, and they absolutely love it. You are at the point where you are satisfied with the story you have created. You research the top literary agents for your genre, craft a flawless query, cross your fingers, and bravely send out your submissions.

Then, you wait.

Slowly, the responses start trickling into your in-box. Your heart starts to race as you click that email notification and prepare yourself to read the message. Your eyes quickly scan the words, and your stomach drops when you realize it’s a no.

Time after time, you find yourself facing rejection. Your book is your baby; your characters are your best friends. You would be lying if you said the rejection didn’t hurt. Now, you are questioning whether or not your book is as good as you thought. Months of sacrifice and weekends spent agonizing over your manuscript only to receive disappointing responses leaves you feeling like throwing in the towel altogether. Continue Reading…

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