Writing is hard work. It requires discipline, tenacity and commitment. I know you have all experienced those days when you stare at the blank screen and wonder ‘Why would anybody want to read my writing?”. Well some don’t. And some do. The question you have to ask yourself is this “Why am I writing?”. Now don’t tell me your answer. It’s for you only. The point is when you answer the ‘why’, then you will get off your butt, or rather put that butt of yours on a chair, and start writing.
I know that it is disheartening when you pour your heart and soul into a blog post or chapter of a book, and you get no reaction. This happened to me this weekend. I wrote a deeply personal account about difficult relationships this weekend on my personal blog. Do you know how many people read it? All of 20 people stampeded to my blog to read my profound insights.
Now that’s demoralizing, especially when it is a classic case of me opening a vein and pouring blood onto the paper. This morning I looked at my traffic statistics and my heart sank. Really. Am I that boring? Why do I even bother?
So this morning I had scheduled to write a blog post for this site. It took me an hour of phaffing around on Facebook and other sites trying to decide what to write. Nada. Zilch. Nothing inspired me. Why? Because I was feeling so blue about the raving and excited (not) responses to my personal post.
I know that I am not the only writer that feels like this on certain days. Then it hit me. This experience of disappointment is what we all go through. This is what I will write about today.
So I went looking for inspiration in the form of famous writers quotes who had experienced the same thing. Hopefully these will inspire you and get your butt in the chair and write.
“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” – Robert Benchley
“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” – Ray Bradbury
“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” —Lawrence Block
“The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.” ~Anne Tyler
“If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” ~ Dan Poynter
What became clear to me is it not about getting rave reviews on your posts or books. It’s about the message or story that only you can write. For all I know, that post may have a profound impact on just 1 of those 20 readers.
So forget about the reviews, comments, sharing etc. You have something to say and the world needs to hear it. Okay, well maybe just one person needs to hear it. But that is no reason to stop writing.
Have you ever felt like this? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below.
P.S. Why don’t you join our Facebook group of almost 2000 writers. There’s lots of support and encouragement there.