Monday, July 5, 2010

Getting Ready to Write: Inspirations

Writing a novel is a lonely job that has few rewards until it is finished. Therefore, it is imperative to stay focused and to stay positive. Surrounding yourself with reminders is one of the easiest ways to do this. (The other way—paying people to constantly tell you you’re doing great and so forth—becomes costly.)
            When I first started submitting material to agents and received my first rejection letters, I was enthused. Now, some people would think that a rejection letter is a depressing thing, but not to me (not then, anyway). It made me feel like a “real” writer, made me feel like I had made contact with the “real” writing world. So, I taped every rejection letter on the wall. On top of each rejection, I taped an inspirational quote. I called it my “Wall of Shame.” As I received awards for my writing, I added these to my wall. I also copied any checks I received for readings or competitions, any thank-you notes, anything that had to do with writing. Pretty soon, I had half of one dining room wall “papered.” Eventually, my handy husband decided to remodel and my wall came down, but it had served its purpose when I needed it: it kept me focused on writing and connected to the writing world.
            Don’t be embarrassed to do whatever you need to do to bolster your morale. And quit referring to yourself as “wanting to be a writer” or a “writer wannabe.” Once you actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you are a writer. Say that out loud: “I am a writer.” Say it again: “I am a writer.” One more time: “I am a writer.” Make that your new mantra and repeat it several times a day. You are a writer. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this post.

What inspires you? Please share it with us. You never know who else you may inspire or encourage, whether it’s a quote, something someone said or did in regards to your writing, or perhaps it came in the form of a rejection letter.

Inspire us!


  1. Thanks for the reminder that being a writer is a state of mind and action, not a list of credits.

    I get bogged down in the middle of projects every single time and think. "This is terrible. Who's going to want to read this?" But then I read something I've had published, and realize "hey, this is GOOD. Maybe I can write after all." I've learned to trust the process.

    It also helps to look at something I wrote five years ago ... and see how far I've come as an author.

  2. I've gotten to the point when people ask me what I do, I say, "I'm a writer." I find it hard to believe sometimes, since I've always been just a homemaker, wife and mother all my life. I sometimes think about quitting, but then I think again and say, "Why? I've come this far, why not continue on."

  3. Writing is a solitary endeavor. The internet has been a godsend for writers. No longer do we have to sit alone with our keyboard; we now can communicate with other writers all over the world.

    So, keep writing. And keep reminding yourself that you are, indeed, a writer.

  4. Lately I've been repeating to myself, "There is a place for my unique voice in the world." I'm now adding "By God's grace."

    I also have a door hanger on my file closet handle that says "Hope." I makes me cry almost every time I see it. Maybe that's why I avoid filing.