By now, you totally get that chasing your dream is going to take work….a lot, a lot of work. As a young girl, you can dangle your feet off your bed and will your dreams to come true each time you kick a leg forward. It just takes a little bit of maturity to realize those dreams are going to take a lot more work.
Your passion for that dream hasn’t lessened, but you’re reality to get there has become clearer. I had one of those hard stretches last week. I just couldn’t pull all the things together. I hit a low place.
I knew I was going to keep working, improving, writing, and reaching…but man, oh man! Those blues hit me. This week, it’s still going pretty slow over here. But I’m not down about it. I can see the little bits of work, and I know they are adding up.
I also know I’m not the only one who feels this way—a thousand more people are writers just like me and are chasing their goals. This post is for all of us.
1. Your work, so far, has helped someone.
I can almost guarantee it. If you’ve put your work out there, no doubt someone has been affected by it. Someone has needed it. Don’t let the tangles of goal-reaching make you forget that yes, you’re work (while not where you want it yet) has helped someone.
2. Every time you write, your skill improves.
I don’t care if the post isn’t well-received by the masses, or that it only got shared 10x. I don’t care if it took you 1 hour to write or 2 days, every time you put pen to paper (or in our case, fingers to keys), your skill is improving. Feel those keys? How easily you fly across them? How much faster the words are coming to you? How much easier you can follow your ideas to the end? That’s your skill and it’s improving. Remember that!
3. If you find it’s hard to give up writing, you’re in a good, good place.
Don’t be disheartened if you’ve thought about giving up. We’ve all been there. The cool thing is that writing is not a skill easily thrown out. Your mind and heart need to write, they need to get the words out. The more you write, the more you need to. The more you need to, the harder it is to just throw in the towel and retreat. Giving up is really hard if you’re a serious writer.
And if you’re at the point where you have found it hard to give up, then you’re in a good, good place! I promise it will be worth it when you write through that rut, and push through the blues.
4. Don’t be discouraged when reading older work.
I don’t suggest reading your old work all the time, but I do think it’s healthy to do now and again. Our tendency is to criticize, criticize, criticize.
After all, a writer thrives off of criticism. We have to be criticized for our work to even go anywhere! But the next time you read some of your older work (even if it was written a month ago), think about how much you have improved since then. Don’t go bashing it and throwing it around. Recognize how far you’ve come.
It’s so important to recognize your improvement. Yes, your work needs criticism. Yes, you can’t have blind spots when it comes to your writing techniques. But remember criticism isn’t the only engine for improvement, nor is it the only way you should be responding to your work. Take the time to respond to your old work in a positive way.
5. Your skill for writing is not based on stats and followers.
You have the skill to write with or without the numbers telling you so. You don’t need x number of followers to finally know your worth as a writer. Stats are a poor judge of a good writer. Stats are necessary. They are needed. You should be aware of them and you should be working to grow your community.
But (and this is a pretty big but!), you should not be obsessed with what the numbers say. They say nothing about who you are as a writer or the future success of your goals. Be content with the community you have, make small steps forward, and separate your writing from your stats and followers.
After my tough week, I really wanted to encourage you today. I know it can be hard, back-breaking, and (let’s just reiterate) HARD. But writing is so, so worth it. Keep writing, and I’ll be over here doing the same.