Yesterday, I was feeling discouraged as a writer.
I am currently enjoying a number of successes. So why isn't that enough?
The majority of my books are educational resources sold to directly to schools. They aren't made into delightful shiny textbooks that I can take pictures of and put on websites or Facebook. I don't see them on the shelves of book shops.
I write film reviews, articles and blog content. I provide fillers for a couple of magazines. You know the stuff, 'Ten things to do with baking soda.'
I get paid for the majority of my work. Therefore, I should be satisfied. But, as it so often happens in life, yesterday I did not feel satisfied. I'm proud of the fact that an agent took the time to phone me and give me some advice on a non fiction project. She asked me if I wanted the 'book,' or to do something online and possibly earn a little more money. I of course wanted both.
I dream of seeing my books printed, by a publisher on the shelf of a bookshop. Is it the right dream for me?
My latest project is a fiction book for the 5-8 age range. During a university lecture dealing with common mistakes in people's work, my mood dropped. I knew I would have to do a lot of work to get my manuscript up to the publishing industries standard. Doubts began to creep in. Did I have the skill to transform my manuscript? And even if I did, would any agent or publisher like it enough to pick it up?
I was left feeling more than a little darned fed up.
Then I met up with a friend to have a little chat about social media. My friend is buzzing at the moment and is currently deciding whether to go down a tradition or self publishing route with her work. Witnessing someone else's enthusiasm made me question myself more.
Was I honestly feeling discouraged? Or, was I feeling a little annoyed at the fact writing is harder than I imagined? I suspect the latter.
When I look back over this blog, I am making progress. The name of the blog was aiming for a publishing deal. I've secured lots of deals.
Literally speaking, to be discouraged means to not have courage. It means to lack the presence of mind and spirit to face whatever difficulties, or challenges, lie ahead of us.
To be encouraged, we must act “in” courage. Emotions aside, we must take action despite—and sometimes in the very face of—our fears and reservations. Regardless of the source of our discouragement, we must choose to act with courage—to act with the belief that we will succeed, and none of our efforts are futile.