Not so much fun. Where were the cool costumes? What's this boring play? You want me to learn how many lines?
Then I scored a part in Androcles and the Lion. I played a woman who comes across a lion while wandering in the forest. My role included running away and fainting on stage. It sounded simple enough, but to my surprise, I needed to learn to fall down. It's not a matter of just falling. I needed to make sure I didn't injure myself.
I think writers need to learn to fall as well. When I say 'fall' I mean things like getting rejections, not writing a perfect first draft, getting bad reviews, not connecting the story that's in your head with the one you've written on paper etc. There are plenty of ways we can fall. Falling is an inevitable part of the writing process and I think it's better to learn to fall before we try to fly.
How does a writer learn to fall?
First, I think it's important to know it happens and it's normal. You aren't a failed writer if you make mistakes, if your piece isn't perfect, if your favourite agent rejects your story.
Listening to your fear of failure is the one sure way to fail. So arm yourself against it. Ask yourself how much you want the goals you've set yourself. When I did this, my answer was simple. A writing career is so important to me that I'm willing to put in the long hours and the hard work. I'm willing to deal with all the ups and downs.
Here are some other truths you should know:
- Yes, rejections happen to the best of us.
- No, there is no such thing as an overnight success.
- No, the writing path isn't an easy one.
- Yes, we make ourselves vulnerable when we throw ourselves into our stories and share what we've written.
- Yes, it's scary.
- Yes, it's wonderful.
- Yes, we all have a choice. When we fall down, we can either give up, or we can get up, dust ourselves off and keep writing.
How have you learnt to overcome the falls--not just as a writer, but in any part of your life?
This post was written as part of the Insecure Writers' Support Group.
Thank you: A huge thank you to J.C. Martin. I won an Oracle swag pack during her fabulous mystery tour which revealed the cover design for her novel due for release in July.
Thank you also to Debbie Johansson for the Kreativ Blogger Award.