Any suggestions for frustrated writers?

In today’s troubled economy, it’s easy to become discouraged. Especially with long-standing newspapers folding, free-lance opportunities evaporating, and more and more publishers shaking their heads, “No.” What then, is a frustrated writer to do? This may not be the time to write the book of your heart and expect to see it published, but there are some things you can do until this sluggish economy turns.
1) Stay positive. Pull out some of your old work and pat yourself on the back for that well-written sentence or thought-provoking chapter. Be generous with your praise. As writers, our job is to write no matter what, and by praising yourself you build the confidence you need to keep writing.
2) Be disciplined. Writing, like playing a musical instrument, requires practice. Practice on a daily basis requires disciple. It’s hard to write when you are tired, but successful writers know the more they write, the better their work becomes. Instead of waiting for their muse to appear, successful writers treat writing as a job. They know that discipline gives them the endurance to meet deadlines, and meeting deadlines keeps editors and readers happy.
3) Patience may not only be a virtue, it might just be the thing that saves your sanity, especially in a flat market. What do you do while waiting for the economy to turn? Successful writers know that waiting is part of the business. The best way to “weather the storm” is to be patient and put your waiting time to good use. Instead of pacing and whining, plot your next story or work on something completely out of your genre. Experiment. Develop a blog or a writer’s platform. Or put on your shoes and go for a walk. You might be surprised at the fresh ideas that pop into your head and urge you back to the keyboard.
4) Love what you do. Approach each new day with a positive attitude even if worldly events are upsetting. Many writers acknowledge that they hate getting up early every morning to write, but they will also tell you that they love their job.
5) Let go of fear. Fear keeps us blocked and unproductive. Fear of rejection can keep us from submitting what could very well be the next bestseller. Instead of using fear to quit writing, let fear motivate you. Keep writing and submitting while you wait for the market to turn.
6) Stay focused. Don’t let this sluggish economy distract you or keep you from attaining your goals. Remember why you started writing in the first place, then get back to the keyboard. You still have stories to tell.

-Bonnie Dodge

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Filed under Archives 2009, Question of the Month, Writing

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