As a self-confessed optimist, I try to work towards everything with a sense that achievement is on the horizon. But, I’m only human, and recently something has been nagging at me. It’s something that I’ve seen many other unpublished writers worrying about to. After years of working hard on a project, rewriting, revising, studying; what if it’s all for nothing?
It stems, I think, from a fear of rejection, a worry that our work will never be read or appreciated. And with that in mind, I wanted to share some thoughts with you all, including ways to stop that question from taking over.
1. It’s never for nothing
I’ve put this as point one, because it’s by far the most important, and I think writers need to hear it. I know I did. Sometimes, when you have a dream or a goal it’s easy to assume you’re failing if you’ve not reached it yet. Especially if that dream is to be published. And if you worry that you’ll never be published, this is when you may start wondering if it’ll all be for nothing. Well, it’s not. It’s never for nothing. Writing a novel is a huge achievement, and the skill and persistence and determination that it takes to keep editing is worth celebrating too. Aim big, but be proud of achieving your mini goals too, be micro-ambitious and see what happens. Every success is important, and so it is never, ever for nothing. Especially when you consider point two…
2. Remember why you write
Why did you start writing? I bet hardly any of you woke up one day and decided that the fast track to becoming rich and famous was by novel writing. (It’s not even the slow track to being rich and famous!) So what was it? For me, it started out as pure enjoyment and then became a stress relief, a hobby that bought me happiness. And if you write because it makes you happy, because it makes you less afraid or less anxious, because it’s an escape, or simply because you love to write then it is never for nothing. It is for your sanity and your pleasure! Never forget that.
3. Don’t give up
Last, but not least; don’t give up. Haven’t written a word in months? Haven’t finished your first draft yet? Received 50 rejections from 50 different agents? Keep going. If this is your passion, embrace it, and never let it go. If you give it your all, then it is never all for nothing, no matter what the outcome. Because you are a fiery, passionate, storyteller with big dreams and that means it has all been something, trust me.
Do you ever worry that it’s all for nothing? Perhaps some of what I’ve spoken about will help you realise it’s not. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this complex matter, the internal battle between writing for the love and wanting to make a career out of it.
Do comment below, or message me any time, to let me know your thoughts.