Sunday, July 08, 2007

Advice

The last few months have been very unproductive for me writing-wise, and have been filled with wobbles and apprehensions of 'I can't do this'. I've managed to fight them off as best I can and to avoid the ever-present temptation to quit writing and look for a job, but I thought I'd share some advice with you given to me by a dear friend in the winter when I was down on my writing and not fighting off the wobbles as successfully. I'm posting this for fellow writers as much as for myself to remind myself that I can do this!


I know how you must be feeling about the writing. And I'm not going to just tell you to forget about the anxiety and write because I know you and I know that's just not realistic. What I would like you to do however is this: try not to search for jobs online. Every time you get the urge, go read a chapter out of a book or go for a walk. Then come back and try to write or edit. Use the nervous energy, get it out of your system, then come back to your novel. You owe it to yourself to finish this novel before trying to go back to work. Finish it, submit it to publishers, and then, if you're still feeling anxious, go look for part-time work and continue to write on the side. But perhaps finishing a novel will give you the confidence you need to really make this your life's work. You never know. Cross that bridge when you come to it. For now, give yourself this one shot. Finish your novel before committing your time, energy, and talent to another venture. Once you have this project completed and sent out into the world for review, you can decide the next step. But you'll only be cheating yourself if you look for a job now. That is my honest opinion. And, of course, I'd be happy to talk to you about it more if you'd like. I'm not dismissing your anxieties--they are totally valid and I'd likely feel the same way if in your position. But as your friend I am telling you that I know you can do this. It's a big, brave undertaking. It could pay off. It might not. But won't you always kick yourself if you don't give it all you've got?
Hope she doesn't mind I've put it out there publicly, but I keep turning to it when I need reassurance.

7 comments:

hellojed said...

That is great advice!

Kristen said...

I am honored that you featured my advice on your blog and that you saved it and turn to it when you need encouragement. Always remember that you ARE a writer. You don't need to prove that to anyone. Your talent speaks for itself.

Helen said...

That is so relevant to me too. I nearly accepted a job offer as I lost sight of my goals and was tempted by the regular pay, the stability but then I remembered my long term ambitions...

This is my first day of writing today after my holiday and I'm struggling a bit. I might do the meme you tagged me for to try and get the fingers typing again..

alfaking said...

Encouraging. Keep it up.

Angie said...

Thanks, hellojed!

Kris, obviously I saved your advice - it was good advice!

Helen, those damn 'stable' jobs can be so alluring sometimes. We must remember there was a reason we chose to follow the writing life! Most days it's not hard to forget, but on the tough days.... Hope the meme helps get you going.

Thanks, alfaking!

A. Writer said...

Fantastic post! I'll come back to read that post next time I have a major wobble.

Angie said...

A. writer, glad it was helpful!