Monday, November 1, 2010

Helpful Post of Helpful Helpfulness

Okay, so this week I promised you some helpful things. You know, so this blog isn't all about me. I thought about what I would say or do, and the only thing I could come up with my lame brain was this huge linkfest to all these amazing things on the Internet.

And then I remembered that that's not really my thing, and who really clicks on all those links anyway? I might click on one or two, but yeah. I'm not a huge clicker-outer. So I nixed that. And came up with...

Nothing.

How ghetto, right? Uh, yeah.

But I'm just going to say a couple of things. I read a lot of blogs. I email with a lot of people. I see/hear/read/feel that maybe we all just need a pick-me-up. So today, this post is for anyone who feels discouraged about this whole publishing thing. Or anyone struggling to find their way in writing. Or anyone who lacks the self-confidence to keep querying, write another sentence, start another book.

If you feel like you're swimming against the current, I say keep swimming. Don't give up. Take a deep breath, turn your face into the wind, and forge onward.

And that's all I've got.

What have you got to add? Favorite inspirational quotes? What do you do when you feel like throwing in the towel? What helps you to keep going?

66 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Friends. And sometimes alcohol. They usually do the trick for me!

Mary said...

Chatting on-line with my friends or reading their posts (like yours) encourage me to keep going and working at my story because someone out there will like it and want more of it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My writer friends. They're very supportive.

I love writing fiction, so as long as those ideas keep coming, I'll keep writing . . . even if it's just for me. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I have to admit that there is a little voice telling me to quit, that I'm not good enough, many days. I keep wondering how much easier life would be.

But being connected with all my blogging friends who are struggling and sometime making to publication (grin, like you) keeps me going. Also I enjoy writing whether or not I ever get published or write a good query letter.

Gretchen said...

Favorite quote hanging on the shelf above my computer:
Two Mistakes only,
Not beginning
Not ending.

Gail said...

I just wish I could write!

Crystal Cook said...

Thanks Elana! Needed this today :)

Laura Pauling said...

When I'm feeling discouraged, I read my favorite books and watch great television and usually I pull out of it.

Teresa aka JW said...

When I'm discouraged, I just (try) to keep on writing. I love my words and the feeling I get when I write. Yes, it would be great to be published again, but I believe that will come.

Renae said...

Thanks Elana! Need this! When I'm discouraged I just keep on writing.

Pam Torres said...

I have to say that this blogging community is the best support ever. Even when I am in a funk, I never feel like I'm alone.

Christine Fonseca said...

You guys all help me when I am in th enever-ending funk!

noellepierce said...

I have found writers to be THE most supportive group of people in any profession I've come across. I mean, we're vying for agents, publishing contracts, reviews, shelf space, and yet even a brand new author can get help and friendly advice from published authors. It's amazing. And I met a lot of romance writers this summer...not a diva among them. Even the ladies who had been bestsellers the year I was born. They blow me away with their awesomeness.

Oh, inspirational quote (this one gets me motivated no matter what): "To strive, to seek, to find, but not to yield." Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Laraine Eddington said...

Ah, that post was like a drink of cold well water on a hot day.

ali said...

You're funny Elana. *U* For me, the people I surround myself help keep me going. CP's, friends--they all help buoy me up when I really just want to throw in the towel. I couldn't do this whole writer-thing without their support.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

I do what I tell my kids when they find themselves dicouraged "If at first you don't succeed try, try again.

Kelly Bryson said...

I had a really rough weekend with my writer mental game. I called my sister, and she reminded me of a few things I'd forgotten. Feeling much better...That's so vague, but it's better that way, trust me.

Melissa Gill said...

You can't give up. Even when rejection after rejection comes your way, just hang in there, keep writing. Celebrate every baby step you take toward reaching your goal.

N. R. Williams said...

I did actually stop writing for a year. I was so tired of the same rejection letter, a nice one, but one that was utterly frustrating. I didn't think I'd ever get representation. Then I began to meet with published authors who so inspired me that I started to run after my challenges.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Christina Lee said...

YES--and reach out to others!

lbdiamond said...

Any reference to Dori from Finding Nemo is all I need!

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...Hey, are you my conscience?"

Regina said...

Dory's mantra from Finding Nemo..."Just keep swimming...just keep swimming." Works every time for me.

Em-Musing said...

What keeps me going? That little voice in my head that nags,"Why do you think this process should be easier for you? Are you so special?" If that doesn't work I reach out to my fellow MVRWA members who I can count on to take my head out of the oven.

Shannon said...

Eternal optimist checking in. I rarely dwell on the negative. Too much bad energy. For the rare times that I do host a pity party, I bring wine and Indian food. Works every time.

Angela Felsted said...

Thanks for the words of optimist. It's always nice to hear them. What do I do when I'm discouraged? Read.

Carol Kilgore said...

Sometimes that's just what we need to hear - encouragement from someone who understands, who's been there. Thanks.

LTM said...

I've been picking up a lot of the same vibe, E~ I try to get outside, go for a jog, talk to a friend who makes me laugh... this is a TOUGH racket. It's true. Fellow writer bleeps are also GREAT for encouragement!

Thanks~ :o) <3

Shari said...

Perfect words for a perfect first day of Nanowrimo. I love the "keep swimming." Reminds me of Dori. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming . . .

E.J. Wesley said...

I'm lost without links ... I tried clicking on "Don't Give Up" fifteen times before, alas, giving up. :0)

Nicely stated! Blog fanciness is overrated. The entire point of a blog (in my humble estimation) is to express yourself and allow others the opportunity to get to know you. That might include bells and whistles, it might not.

Lydia Kang said...

I usually need a good brainstorming through my problems and I feel better. I have to do something about whatever makes me feel bad.

Bish Denham said...

Thanks Elana. I needed that little bit of inspiration.

Sara B. Larson said...

Support from others who care and understand help keep me going, and also the feeling and knowledge deep within me that I just CAN'T give up. I want it too much.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

When the dream's big enough, the facts don't count!!

Colene Murphy said...

After all that, I think that was wonderful advice! Good job!

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

From the mouth of Dory...
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming , swimming."

Patti said...

Posts like this help to know that everyone feels the same way at one time or another.

Heather said...

I've definitely had my moments of discouragement lately. Thank you, I needed this pick me up! When I get discouraged I just try to focus on writing the next book because you never know which one will be THE ONE.

And you rock lady, we love hearing about you.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Onward! I guess when I feel like quitting, I just put my head down and forge onward. I started this writing thing 6 years ago. I can't go back now. I can't just stop writing. So, if I'm not going to write, what the heck else is there? Nada. Just keep writing, keep improving, and sooner or later... or even if it's never... I'm doing what I want to do with my life. That has to count for something.

Thanks for the pep talk, Elana. I needed it, even if I didn't think I needed it until just now. =o)

Lisa_Gibson said...

I think there is a lot to be said for connecting with wonderful peeps such as yourself in the writing world. We are all cheerleaders for one another. Some of refuse to wear the little skirts (namely me), but I'm shaking my poms for ya' all just the same (no euphemism intended). A gentle nudge from a writing buddy can really keep me going. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Meredith said...

Keep swimming. Got it. Thanks, Elana!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Well, you know me - I'm kind of the queen of motivation and positive thinking. I can say - in ALL honesty - that the two things that have kept me going when I wanted to sit down and cry and give up are YOU and SHANNON M.

Right now, I am schlogging through queryland with what I KNOW in my bones is a story my target age group would love, and I can't find "the agent". But both you and Shannon have encouraged me. You have both given my query your stamp of approval (and seriously, what more do I need?). You guys rock! :-)

L.T. Elliot said...

Things like this help. Just knowing that someone else out there is rooting for you is enough. *hugs*

Paul Greci said...

Nice, Elana!! I try to tell myself to remember what I do and don't have control over. That helps me, sometimes.
The best advice I ever got was simple: Don't give up.
Several writers with lots of publishing experience have offered that up.

Okay, I'm putting my goggles on and going for a loooong swim!

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm pushing forward! Any good news usually keeps me going, even if it's minor.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

OMGosh, I just finished Stephen King's On Writing. Talk about inspirational! I have a renewed passion for my craft and am ready to make big progress on my wip this month.

Melissa said...

Thanks Elana! Great post!

I needed this inspiration as I forge ahead in NaNo. I'm doing well so far but am now exhausted!!!

Hope everything is going well with you.

Nicole Zoltack said...

When I feel down, I pick up one of my favorite stories and start to reread it. Then I'm always more inspired to write, hoping that one day, someone will think my story is one of their favorites. :)

Joylene Butler said...

I just came back from a 4-day retreat where only 1 of the other 17 northern writers had a blog, and she only wrote in it once a month. The other difference was I was the only fiction writer slash novelist. These are my peers and I couldn't have felt more alienated if I tried. Nice people, but other than being northern writers, we had nothing in common.

I stopped writing for money years ago. I write because it's who I am. When another author is feeling down, I remind them to stop counting sales. It's not about money. If it is, you'll drive yourself nuts.

Donea Lee said...

Thanks, Elana!! :) One of my favorite quotes, from the lovely Anne of Green Gables, "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it." A good one for life and for writing. If you've got something new to get on a page - wonderful! It's right for the right now and good for you!

And when the man(uscript)'s got me down? I remind myself that I write because I love it and publishing is the bonus.

IanBontems said...

Mine is the small voice that tells me to get back up and keep going.

Marsha Sigman said...

Once when I was depressed I watched that movie 'Practical Magic' every day for three weeks.lol Makes me believe anything is possible.

I also think chocolate helps...a lot. And all the writer friends.

Michelle McLean said...

ha! totally channeling Dory's "just keep swimming" song right now :)

When I wan to throw in the towel, I usually give in and just chuck it for a day or two. I always get over it and come back. And if I linger, I have my awesome CPs and buddies to yank me back in :)

Trisha Wolfe said...

Honestly, this is a good post. I love reading your helpful stuff, you have SO much to offer, but I agree, sometimes you just need to remind people to keep on keeping on. With NaNo starting today, hopefully writers will feel the positiveness in the air and find a way to push through. Thanks Elana!

Krispy said...

Friends, posts like this one :), some reflection, and taking breaks. Breaks help give perspective.

lexcade said...

it's like you're in my head. i've been struggling the last couple of days because of log lines and general insecurity. but i have 3 great cheerleaders in my corner (none of whom have actually read my book, doesn't it figure), and they help me keep going.

also, like matthew said, alcohol. and chocolate.

Beth said...

What keeps me going? All the people who blog, who are on forums and who I have no idea what their real names are (and it doesn't matter). They keep me going--just like you with words of encouragement. Some days are great, some are...hell, but I won't stop. Thanks for just sharing your thoughts each day.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm on that emotional roller coaster. Life has been so busy lately I haven't had even minutes for writing. I'm hoping it gets better in the next week or so! I can't believed I signed up for nano again.... But it should be fun! I hope :)

Karen Lange said...

Yes, keep moving forward, keep learning, and keep good writing friends around. Other friends are great, but the writing friends really "get" the writing thing and can relate better.
Happy November,
Karen

Jen Daiker said...

Just keep swimming (have you been talking to Dory again?)

Mary said...

LOL--your peeps are so on my wavelength: Dory, the all-knowledgeable fishie who said, "Just keep swimming...", take time to stop and smell the roses, a nice frosty beverage, a warm, snuggly dog, and those lovely times when the writing stars align and everything just swims along! All those keep me moving forward.

Happy writing!

Theresa Milstein said...

It's nice to hear from someone who's several steps ahead of me offer inspiration. Thanks!

Blogging keeps me going. Thought blogging, I have blogging-writer friends who offer support. It's even easier with Facebook because there can be an immediate response.

I also keep a document of quotes and pull one to use in a post whenever I'm feeling demoralized.

June G said...

You have to believe in your ability to get the job done. There's no guarantee it'll be easy--that goes for anything in life, but if you want to do it and you believe you can, don't stop.

Keep working to perfect and expand your craft. You shouldn't be afraid to be your own biggest fan. Now that being said, I don't mean going about being a braggart. What I mean is, if you are not the staunchest believer in your own abilities, who will be?

All the best!

Jackee said...

Family. Friends. So many people help me out of those hard times. I also read my wallpaper quote "You are only limited by your own insecurities". Then anything feels possible. :o)

Thanks for the pick-me up, Elana!

ajkulig said...

The only thing that inspires me right now (other than you of course) if COFFEE, its even more inspiring if it includes the words large/jumbo/venti in front of it.

But seriously, sometimes I get down. I think it is all a part of being an artist. Or at least that is what I let the voices in my head tell me. Rejection stinks, and as an unpublished writer that is likely all you have ever had. It's soul eating really, you just have to keep going looking for the spark that moves you foreward and through the deepest tunnel of self pitty. So it's a bit longer than the GPS said it would be. Shurg it off. And look at that, I'm all emo again. Poop. ;)

Amie Kaufman said...

When I need encouragement, I am not at all above telling one of my readers to say something nice, pronto!

I'm also okay with letting myself just take a break sometimes--if it's not working and I'm not feeling it, sometimes it's best just to watch something fun on TV or go for a walk, wait until my mojo returns.

T C Mckee said...

When I get discouraged, I turn to my writer friends. They always know what to say. We've all had those days so we know how it feels. Then I listen to Bob Dylan on the way to check out the clearance bin at the local book store. That usually does it.

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