We’ve all faced it.
Critical great-aunt-twice-removed Gertrude: “You really expect to make a living doing this?
Fellow writer: “There are no original stories, and yours is the living proof. Your WIP is basically an imitation of [ultra famous novel]. I mean, I’m not saying this to hurt your feelings, but has anyone told you that your characters are total clichés?”
Beta Reader: “It’s too dark. I don’t think you can find a publisher for this.”
Take a deep breath and banish your doubts. Even if the criticisms are true (let’s not even go there, OK?), that is no reason to quit.
There never will be a reason to quit.
Instead you must work.
Conquer your craft.
No one starts off at the top of the ladder of success. Just as [insert favorite author’s name] wasn’t always a bestselling author, we too must start at the foot of the ladder and pull ourselves up.
Painful step after painful step.
Year after year.
They too faced doubt and fear, uncertainty and endless work, just as it is for you. You must set the steps for your own success and begin this journey at your own rate. Work relentlessly, never accepting that rejection is the end of your story. You will give blood and sleepless night and tears, always tears. You will be tempted to copy writer friends and cut out the heart and message of your book in a desperate effort for publication.
Don’t fall in the trap of writing to be famous. To make money. To gain esteem.
Write to release the story within you.
Follow your story. Even if it means years of added work, even if it seems you will never reach publication. Go deep and probe your intentions and motivation. Allow yourself to be impacted. Let your story change you.
And only then will your story change others.
Because in liberating your story, you too were set free.
Free to become the one and only you.
After all, it is your voice I want to hear.
Coming on Monday: Open The Door! It’s Paul Revere: Research and the Making of Historical Fiction