Writer Victory!—Identify Problem Areas

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Last post we talked about the first letter in our acrostic for VICTORY—voluntarily submit. I feel those of us in Western societies have a hard time with the word submit because we’ve redefined the word in a negative way. If we submit, we’re weak. Untrue! There is tremendous power in the act of submitting.

When we submit, we’re able to let go of what we can’t control. We’re more maneuverable when we encounter resistance, setbacks or criticism. Instead of breaking, we can bend and move and use negative energy in our favor.

Nature clearly demonstrates the strength and resilience submission offers. This is why palm trees thrive in coastal areas hit by hurricanes. They bend in high winds and submit. When the storm passes, they spring back.

Here in North Texas we have a lot of Live Oaks. Though oaks are tough trees, if one looks closer and studies the branches of Texas oaks, you’d see they aren’t straight. The branches curve and twist in a spiral. The bark itself has winding grooves ideal for diffusing the force of high winds from fierce storms.   

And this is why they can take the beating of Texas weather.

Running Toward the Fight

Today, I’d like to talk about I, which is for Identify Problem Areas. We can’t change what we don’t see or refuse to see. Now, most of us could all write a long list of where we fall short. This isn’t to make anyone feel badly. But, when we’re honest about areas we need to change, we can make a plan.

Camping on top of our problems isn’t the mark of a pro. It’s the self-indulgent Soma of the amateur.

Examine Our Motivations

Writing has been such a painful and personal journey for me that has gone far beyond craft of writing books. When I began writing, I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was a people-pleaser. I was insecure and had something to prove. I was selfish, angry, jealous, unteachable, hyper-critical of myself and others and undisciplined. I blamed others instead of taking responsibility.

Oh, if my family would just be more supportive THEN…

That’s crap.

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As long as my locus of control was external, I could relinquish my responsibilities. So long as it was my family who interrupted my writing, others who didn’t take me seriously, that I didn’t have a new computer or a private office in a condo with a view of the ocean, I had excuses to remain stuck. Well, I’d have made word count had Such-and-Such not interrupted me.

Writing is a unique profession. We don’t clock in and clock out. No Author Straw Boss will punish us for not writing. We don’t get stars on the fridge for working. Our craft is subjective so we can dismiss even valid criticisms and remain self-deluded if we choose.

Who Will Remain?

Many writers won’t make it long-term, and, sadly, this has nothing to do with talent or lack thereof. An author friend of mine and I were recently talking about how many writers and bloggers held such promise yet have vanished.

Five years later, they’re gone and we’re still here.

When I go to a conference I know most won’t make it. It reminds me of a scene from the movie G.I. Jane. The troops are lined up and shown a bell. They can leave at any time, just ring the bell and a soft bed, warm meal and rest is at the other end.

Image via www.freerepublic.com

Image via Free Republic.

Who will ring the bell? Will it be you? Look to your left. Look to your right. Most of you won’t be here by the end. Who will ring out first?

My husband was in Special Operations. He can attest that often the strongest, boldest and loudest are the first to go. Training is far more mental than physical. It’s about strength of will, courage, and relentless pursuit that defies logic. Passion that defies reason.

The Crucible

Want to see who a person really is? Who you really are? Turn up the heat.

Writers who want to succeed welcome the fire. In the beginning, I didn’t welcome the fire. I avoided, defected, blamed and whined…and didn’t have anything but a pile of flimsy excuses and half-finished projects to show for all my exertions.

Making excuses can be exhausting.

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Stoere Schrijfster.

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Stoere Schrijfster.

I knew I was a mess. I learned to appreciate that I couldn’t tackle all my defects at one time. My first step? Finish something. My first novel is a disaster…but for the first time in my life, I FINISHED.

Blogging was tremendously helpful for me. I learned to meet self-imposed deadlines even when no one other than Cheap Xanax dot com cared about my posts. I learned to ship. It trained the perfectionism and laziness out of me.

Then, instead of hiding in the comfort of my writing group where I was the strongest writer among a bunch of other unpublished authors, I sought out conferences and groups with pros. Boy, that humbled me up with a quickness. I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did.

I was hiding behind “Aspiring Author” waiting for the world to take me seriously when even I didn’t take myself seriously. I hid behind a cutesy moniker texaswriterchik. I wrote when I “felt inspired.” Every new idea that flitted across my gray matter was an excuse to drop my WIP and pursue a new shiny.

Oh, well no I’m not working on THAT book. It wasn’t “right” for me.

Claiming the profession is inviting the heat. Screw aspiring. Aspiring is for pansies. It takes guts to be a writer. Many of you know I prefer the term pre-published author. Why? We’re owning it. We are welcoming the crucible. Writers write. Those who want to do this for a career know there are a lot of un-fun activities that go with the job.

We work when others play. If we have a day job, we have to stay up later or get up earlier. We don’t find time, we make time.

When we are flailing and faltering, instead of whining, we must stop and ask the hard question.

What Am I Afraid Of?

Am I afraid of failure? I never finish anything because then I can’t truly fail. Am I afraid of success? If my book is a hit, can I write another one? A better one? Will I outshine Dad, Mom, Aunt Penelope?

Am I afraid I really don’t have any talent? I keep switching projects, genres, ideas because deep down I fear that I’m a hack?

I’d like to offer a quote from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield:

Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it. If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death (page 39).

Keep Asking

Thing about life is it can be a game of Character Whack-A-Mole. Just about the time we get the self-discipline thing down, perfectionism pops up. Then we whack that sucker only to see we’re getting sucked into too much family drama and using that as an excuse. Whack! Then we pop that sucker on the snoot and something else pops up.

It’s life.

This is why we began this series with voluntarily submit. Writing and life is a process. It is never static. Our job is to maintain vigilance and be honest even when it hurts. The quicker we can come to that point of painful truth, the quicker we can shut down self-doubt, criticism, or fear. We can be proactive and root it out before it spreads.

I believe in you, so there is at least on person on your side. I don’t dish out anything I don’t eat first.

We’ve had a HELL of a year. Four deaths in ten months. Sickness, problems, family issues. I became deeply distraught and sidetracked until I realized I was allowing myself to become too caught up in things I COULD NOT control as an excuse for avoiding what I could.

So don’t feel badly. This is life. Focus on your love and passion, but also be fearless with yourself. We all procrastinate, make excuses, hide, or deflect. We are human. A pro takes problems seriously, the amateur takes them personally.

Dust off, wipe away the blood and get back to it. This is why we will remain when others fall away. Refuse to ring that bell and keep pressing!

What are your thoughts? Has writing helped you grow as a person? Do you run into problems and then realize it’s really something you FEAR? Do you face self-doubt? I do too if it makes you feel better :D.

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of MAY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

April’s WINNER is Patricia Woods. Please send your 20 pages (5000 word WORD document), query letter (250-300 word Word document) OR synopsis (Up to 1000 word WORD document) to kristen at wana intl.com. Congratulations!

If you need help building a brand, social media platform, please check out my latest best-selling book, Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World.

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  1. #1 by Ekaterine Xia (@katjexia) on May 12, 2014 - 10:44 am

    Thank you for this. I won’t deny, I’ve thought about ringing out. Wattpad, blogging, Twitter, RL friends asking me if I really think I can make it because they don’t like what I wrote — I really did think about giving it up and doing something easier. But no. Ringing out would be giving up on what I really, truly want in life and I’ve been around enough unmotivated people to know that not everyone is blessed to know what they want out of life. Bring it on. I’m not touching that bell.

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 12, 2014 - 10:47 am

      GO YOU! We are here for you. One word at a time, one day at a time ((HUGS)).

  2. #3 by Marilyn Hudson Tucker on May 12, 2014 - 10:47 am

    I love the quotation: “If I don’t succeed in everything, I am a failure.” That is just what I needed right now.

  3. #4 by Ron Estrada on May 12, 2014 - 11:01 am

    You’re so totally cool. I usually skip the inspirational posts these days, but you kind of lit me up on a day I was feeling especially less-than-a-writer. Oddly, I just e-mailed my partner, who going through some very difficult times and said, “So 3 books a year…can we get there?” It’s just a number, sure, but I’m trying to stay in the pro mindset. Set the goal, then do what needs to be done to get there. We have the talent, we know the mechanics inside and out by this point. Now to just do it. Thanky Kristen. Awesome post.

  4. #5 by Nan Sampson on May 12, 2014 - 11:07 am

    Oh, Kristen. Boy, did I need to hear this today. Yesterday was a really really tough day. I’m second guessing everything I’m doing out of fear. To hear you say (even though you don’t even know me!) that you believe in me gave me the boost I needed. So now, on with the show! I spent enough time yesterday feeling sorry for myself. Time to get back to it – no bell ringing for me!. Thanks so much!

  5. #6 by Martha Carr on May 12, 2014 - 11:24 am

    When I was brand new at writing (about 25 years ago!) a published author told me that if I was still writing ten years later, I was a writer and would be successful. So simple and had more to do with my willingness to keep writing despite what my brain was telling me. Thanks as always for talking about the parts of writing that can keep us from just doing it.

  6. #7 by Rachael on May 12, 2014 - 11:27 am

    I just finished writing my first real book. I am that pre-published author and I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and ignore what needs to change to make my work better. Thanks for sharing your brain in a not zombie sort of way. :)

  7. #8 by Stephanie Scott on May 12, 2014 - 11:28 am

    I’m day to day. I had a rough week with a current project, but I’ve checked off some milestones with a different one. It’s just so tough in those early days wondering whether a book is ready for publication or not.

  8. #9 by Ann Bracken on May 12, 2014 - 11:28 am

    I received a call from my agent last Thursday letting me know she was releasing me from my contract because publishers think no one is interested in a story written during the American Revolution (um, hello? Turn? Outlander?). She said they were idiots and to put it out there myself (she had to release me so I could).

    So, I’m ready to fail and fail big! Yes, I’m scared to death, but today’s pep talk from you was just the thing I needed to push me forward. So what if I screw the entire thing up, think of all I’ll LEARN.

  9. #10 by jrosebooks on May 12, 2014 - 11:31 am

    I love that quote by Steven Pressfield:
    One of my problems is that no matter what I do, I still don’t feel successful.

    • #11 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 12, 2014 - 11:40 am

      I’m with you. Working on also allowing myself victory instead of just beating myself up. We will talk on that more later ;) .

  10. #12 by Sherrey Meyer on May 12, 2014 - 11:45 am

    This is even better than the last post in which you used the letter “V”–this post didn’t just speak to me, it spoke out loud. Your reference to the deaths in the family, illnesses, etc. is what my life has been for the last two and a half years. And yes, I’ve often thought about just giving up and saying I can’t do this any more. And the quote by Steven Pressfield is an ace in the hole! Thanks, Kristen!

  11. #13 by sharonhughson on May 12, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Self-doubt? *snorts* If I don’t wonder if It was crazy to leave my day job at least once per day, I think I might be finally accepting my place on the pre-published author plateau. Until the next day, when I break out in hives rereading something I wrote and calling myself all kinds of crazy.
    Yeah. It’s been a rough year. People looked at me like I was heartless when I kept on my word count when my mom went on hospice. After her funeral, I pulled out the manuscript and began the rewrite. I work to keep from thinking too much and drowning in despair. I can’t change anyone’s health, but I can pour words on a page, rip them off and slash through them with a red pen.
    I tell myself that when I sell my first book, I will feel more confident about this writing dream. It’s a nice thought, but my self-doubt sends me to craft books and craft classes and critique groups. I can always learn more. I can always improve.

  12. #14 by Henrietta Handy on May 12, 2014 - 11:48 am

    Reblogged this on Kentucky Mountain Girl News and commented:
    KMGN: This post made me sit up and take notice, so I thought some others may like to read it as well. So, here you go. Hope it helps you, too. Writing is a *craft* and we should always be learning. Enjoy! :)

  13. #15 by Cate Macabe on May 12, 2014 - 11:48 am

    Thank you for another inspiring post. I needed a reminder to take responsibility for where I’m at in my writing journey and not grab on to every excuse. Self-doubt is a big one for me. There is so much I still need to learn to improve my writing, and I’m so impatient with the learning process.

  14. #16 by Bev Mardis on May 12, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    I so needed to hear all of this today. Must admit I’m standing there trying to decide if I shouldn’t just ring the bell & go on with life. I don’t think so, not today. Thank you!

  15. #17 by CCKoepp on May 12, 2014 - 12:16 pm

    I learned over many, many, many years that if I put half the time effort into finding a solution as I put into making the excuses … I’d get more done. So, I stopped using “work is sucking up all my time” (<– I'm a recovering elementary school teacher) and started writing in whatever 10-15 minute block I could find. First drafts were disjointed messes, but that's what revisions are for.

  16. #18 by Dee Connell on May 12, 2014 - 12:41 pm

    I’m with everyone here. I really needed to hear this today, and reading all the comments that voice my own fears is strangely comforting. I haven’t told anyone in my family that I want to pursue writing full time. Partly because I’m not sure I can survive financially past the summer months doing this and then I’ll have to drag my feet back to teaching. I have enough internal conflict do deal with that I don’t need other dissenting voices. But I wonder whether if I had more confidence I might tell people I know about my writing.

    • #19 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 12, 2014 - 12:46 pm

      Confidence comes from braving the fight and living to tell the tale. Finishing is paramount. And confidence is fleeting. Even for those of us who’ve been around for a while. One day we feel like we can conquer the world and the next day we feel like the world has landed on our heads. It’s why we need to focus on the baby steps and understand this is a LONG journey. Success isn’t permanent, but neither is failure :D . If you are afraid, that is likely a sign your are going the right direction.

      • #20 by Dee Connell on May 12, 2014 - 12:49 pm

        It’s so rare that I physically smile after reading a comment. Thanks for making me smile :) You’ve added a great measure of faith to my fears.

  17. #21 by Elke Feuer on May 12, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    What an awe inspiring post, Kristen! Conferences and rejection letters were the best thing to happen to me along with online writing classes with brutal (but much needed) feedback about my work. Without them I’d still have unfinished stories waiting to be published and running after the next shiny story.

  18. #22 by JoAnne Potter on May 12, 2014 - 1:10 pm

    OK, drill sergeant. I got it. My husband was in SO, too. That must be where we get it from. No excuses. Don’t be a whiner. Just do it. Oh, and by the way, did I tell you that my first novel is in its 16th revision and I still haven’t given up? But it’s getting there…oh, it’s getting there, and the second one is right behind it. “Yes, sir, I’ll have another!”

  19. #23 by renaenb (@RenaeBeliveau) on May 12, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    I cried through this post. It’s like you’ve been poking around in my head. Thank you!!!

  20. #24 by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt on May 12, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    I strongly recommend Pressfield’s other books on writing. Turning Pro made me settle down and do this writing thing seriously – regardless of how I feel or what comes along – and that actually makes it much easier. Another one of his, Do the Work, reinforced his ideas about facing Resistance and doing what you need to do anyway.

    I have found that the bigger my Resistance to tackling a piece of writing, the more important it turns out to be, and that is enormously helpful when Resistance seems all-powerful.

    Alicia

    • #25 by katewyland on May 12, 2014 - 4:53 pm

      Great insight. Not sure what I’m writing is that important, but the resistance is really high. Have to think about this.

  21. #26 by Michael Summers on May 12, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Thank you. Myriad other tasks clamored for my attention, distracting me from my book, when I encountered this article and reclaimed my focus.

  22. #27 by Morgyn on May 12, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    Tweeted, emailed this post. Grits, absolutely. And if you write for yourself and your “ideal reader,” no matter what happens, you win! Great call to ‘suck it up, Buttercup!” BTW, Cal Moriarty selected me as part of her Womentoring Project. WooHoo!

  23. #28 by ontyrepassages on May 12, 2014 - 2:34 pm

    As always, this post was valuable and timely. Thank you. It’s a sad truth that most won’t even step up to bat and most of my life I was one of them. I remember college and the difficulty with finding a seat in the classroom. After midterms? Pick your spot because most were gone. Life got in their way, and in most cases “life” was partying. Life for me, on the other hand, was school, work, and two young children. Life came again yesterday. On May 11th, 2003, which was also Mother’s Day, my mother passed. Yesterday, my old nemesis, depression, forced its way into my apartment. We went more than a few rounds until I sat down to pizza, a glass of wine, and The Big Bang Theory. Afterwards, I wrote a cleansing poem (shared today) and slept great. Today I’ll return to the proofs from Amazon for the poetry collection that will be my first book. The online story continues to gain popularity. The novel will be published this autumn no matter what I have to do. Thank you for this post. :)

  24. #29 by KM Huber on May 12, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    As you say, one moment it all comes together, and in the next it all falls apart, only to come together again, albeit differently. It is only recently, which means late in my life, that I not only “get that” but accept that life is impermanent. Frankly, it keeps me curious. Am really enjoying these VICTORY posts. Brava, Kristen.
    Karen

  25. #30 by Kelly Byrne on May 12, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    I like to think of Christy Brown typing with that left foot – the image of that slaps any excuses I have right out the door. Of course it doesn’t always work, but seriously, if he could write like that, then I have NO excuses other than my wretched fear. Fear of failure? Fear of success? Check.

    Therapy? Check. ;)

    Great quote and one to live by: “A pro takes problems seriously, the amateur takes them personally.”

    Thanks, Kristen.

    Side note: I’m really sorry your family has had so much pain this past year. You’re a strong woman to handle it all so well and keep on keepin’ on the way you do.

    • #31 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 12, 2014 - 3:55 pm

      Thanks. I wish I were handling it better. One step at a time. I like writing these kinds of posts because they are meant just as much for me. Keep king. Keep pressing. Resist the urge to complain or make excuses. I thought my quote was rather clever, too, LOL. Unfortunately now it applies to me too *pouty lip*

  26. #32 by Shea Ford on May 12, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    Thank you for believing in me (us)! My hubby doesn’t, which makes this journey to writing pro much harder. Oddly enough, he was in the military. He wouldn’t be one to ring that bell literally, but he would be over the moon if I rang it figuratively.

    I had a rough year too, with multiple deaths, including one out of the country where I couldn’t be. (((Hugs))) and prayers for comfort.

  27. #33 by katewyland on May 12, 2014 - 4:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Conversations with Horses and Others by Kate Wyland and commented:
    Great post on what it takes to succeed as a writer.

  28. #34 by WRITING FROM A DEERSTAND on May 12, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    There are days that I want to ring the bell, but something inside won’t let me. Great article.

  29. #35 by Kathy Azevedo on May 12, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    Actually, this is how I found you and your blog.
    I have an outline, and I have a fire to write this, but I didn’t know what to do next. When I lack self confidence, it usually means there is something I don’t know yet that I need to learn about .
    Also, I felt isolated- I don’t know many authors- only one actually.
    So, in seeking information about the areas where I felt weak, I discovered your blog.
    You have answers.
    You inspire me and encourage me.
    I have actually experienced a breakthrough since I discovered you.
    Right now, I am “hot!”
    Thank you!

    • #36 by Author Kristen Lamb on May 13, 2014 - 8:03 am

      You are NOT alone. Seek out the WANA1011 group on Facebook. Connect with us on #MyWANA on Twitter or join WANATribe. We have over 2000 authors in various tribes to give support and even guidance. This can be a lonely profession which is why I have taken great strides to create a support network. You can do it!

  30. #37 by Deborah Makarios on May 12, 2014 - 6:40 pm

    Baby steps, baby steps – unfortunate that my brain links this to the Spawn smacking his front teeth out!
    It’s hard finding the middle way between excuses excuses on the one hand and demanding too much of oneself on the other. One has to be diligent, but still flexible.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  31. #38 by Debbie Johansson on May 12, 2014 - 7:23 pm

    Hi Kristen. Self doubt has been plaguing me for months, so your post couldn’t have come at a better time. I could hear myself saying ‘yes’ to all those questions you raised to determine what it is exactly I’m afraid of. What I’m afraid of most, I guess, is that I don’t have any talent. I need to learn to not be so hard on myself and take this one small step at a time. Thanks for the encouragement!

  32. #39 by elisjade on May 12, 2014 - 7:26 pm

    Thanks so much for this reminder! Every word of it went straight into that little spot in my heart that has been yearning to be cared for all these years. Encouraging, supportive, and definitely motivational! Thank you a thousand times!

  33. #40 by J. H. Craig on May 12, 2014 - 8:25 pm

    I think it’s important as artists to imagine different angles on what we “know”. We knew we couldn’t finish something, and then we did. We knew we couldn’t publish something, and then we did. We knew everyone would hate it, and then some stranger writes a glowing review. I no longer doubt I can do this, and fight to find new directions every day. It’s crucial to forgive myself when I’m not perfect. It’s something no one talks about. Beat myself up, or focus, and fix it? Which is more productive? Thanks for pointing me to paths I might not have considered.

  34. #41 by lonesome lee on May 12, 2014 - 9:40 pm

    “Sergeant Pain, sir?” “Yeah, what is it, private West?” “Well, sir, the men were thinking that maybe YOU should ring the bell, sir.” “Private West?” “Yes, sir?” “You’ve just earned yourself five laps around the barracks.” “Yes, sir! Shall we make it six, sir?” “To hell with THAT. We’ll make it an even DOZEN.” “Sir, yes, sir!”

  35. #42 by Dyane on May 12, 2014 - 10:06 pm

    Great post–I was just thinking the other day how writing (it’s ups and downs, challenges and successes) mirror the things we go through in life, and the way we handle them can help us grow as writers and as people. I’ve been learning a lot about myself through the process.

  36. #43 by Lily Dewaruile on May 12, 2014 - 10:06 pm

    My hiding place was “I’ve always wanted to be a writer” until I said that out loud in 2007. Hard to believe I had been writing since I could hold a pencil. SInce that moment, I’ve published six novels. Embarrassment/shame is a positive motivator.

  37. #44 by Dyane on May 12, 2014 - 10:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Dropped Pebbles and commented:
    Great thoughts on writing and Life…

  38. #45 by Jen Christopherson on May 13, 2014 - 1:57 am

    What an excellent post for me to read today! I’ve been thinking and feeling these thoughts and feelings for a while now. After reading this post, I think it’s time for me to grow and learn. Thank you!

  39. #46 by awax1217 on May 13, 2014 - 7:16 am

    My grandfather told me , “Do your best at everything and there is no failure.”

  40. #47 by Glynis Jolly on May 13, 2014 - 8:08 am

    I have 2 projects going right now — well, kind of. I’ve shelved one temporarily. Even though I haven’t finished the 1st draft, I feel I must rewrite much of what I have down before going on with it. The 2nd one is still in the early stages of the 1st draft as well. I have a scheduled writing time for 5 out of the 7 days of the week and I do use this time plus some on those other 2 day. My problem is setting a deadline. I’m new at this. What is reasonable? How big or small should my blocks of time along the way be?

    HELP!

  41. #48 by helenrj on May 13, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Did you write this for just little old me? ‘Cause it was just the message I needed today. Especially this: ” I was insecure and had something to prove. I was selfish, angry, jealous, unteachable, hyper-critical of myself and others and undisciplined. I blamed others instead of taking responsibility. Oh, if my family would just be more supportive THEN…” I had a bad case of whine. Now I am refocused!

  42. #49 by Karen Lynne Klink on May 13, 2014 - 10:45 am

    Thanks for this one. I nearly stopped writing when a good friend, my husband’s best friend, was murdered last year, my husband had a breakdown, we moved, and, well, more stuff, but I’m writing again now. As you say, there’s always something. Whether this novel gets published or not, I have to write.

  43. #50 by Writer Of All Things Light on May 13, 2014 - 11:59 am

    Kristen, I just finished reading your book (and gearing up to make suggested changes…aka: cute moniker soon to disappear). Enjoying your blog as well.
    Are you sure you’re a cyborg? You sound like an inspirational speaker to me. You’re like the Tony Robbins for writers.
    Oh…. and dare I say I love it? So I say – bring on the fire – God is always there to help me and I’m not giving up either! DJ Marcussen

  44. #52 by sarahpotterwrites on May 13, 2014 - 12:07 pm

    I used to attend a local writing circle, but discovered that I was the only one who believed herself a professional writer before she’d been paid for any work. I think that a professional attitude and approach to writing comes first and the rest will follow, but not necessarily overnight.

  45. #53 by Cary Area Writer's Group on May 13, 2014 - 12:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Cary Area Writer's Group and commented:
    This woman is like the Tony Robbins for writers. Reblogging this great, inspirational post. Keep writing, friends!

  46. #54 by eldydawn on May 13, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    “A pro takes problems seriously, the amateur takes them personally.”

    I love that quote. With writing, our pride must be put into balance. We need to be confident in our work without getting cocky. The best thing a writer can do is grab hold of criticism and take a good look at how to improve the story. Great post! I’m ready to let go of my excuses and write!

  47. #55 by Sarah Brentyn on May 13, 2014 - 2:45 pm

    “Submit” does have a negative connotation. But, you’re right, when you think about trees…bend like the willow or break like the oak.

    Fear and people-pleasing are two of our worst enemies.

    This is a fantastic post. Thank you for sharing.

  48. #56 by Allan G. Smorra on May 13, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    I have learned that if you can’t take criticism, you become a perfectionist. The first time that I heard the line, “Progress, not perfection” I exhaled and took my first deep breath in many years.

    Thank you for this topic and for the encouragement for us to do OUR best.

  49. #57 by Briana Gaitan on May 13, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    I am new to your blog, but find all your posts so inspiring. You are a true talent. I wake up every morning and read your blog while drinking my coffee.

  50. #59 by shad0wrav3n2014 on May 14, 2014 - 6:17 pm

    All truth. Inspirational post as always.

  51. #60 by shad0wrav3n2014 on May 14, 2014 - 6:18 pm

    Reblogged this on remnantscc.

  52. #61 by aj365 on May 15, 2014 - 11:25 pm

    Wow. This blog was almost a mirror of my thoughts. I have wanted to write a book for so long. Friends, professors, and family have encouraged me, but their is like this mental block. I feel like it needs to be perfect. I am actually not sure why I haven’t finished anything. I just started a blog and my goal is to keep it up and not quit. Small steps. Then build up. Maybe.

  53. #62 by Heather on May 16, 2014 - 10:53 am

    I have good excuses. But that’s just it. They are excuses. Time to learn to say no to what’s pulling me down the black hole of not writing.

  54. #63 by moonrox on May 21, 2014 - 8:10 am

    Reblogged this on Roxanne's Space and commented:
    Excellent post for writers in all stages.

  55. #64 by tclout3 on May 26, 2014 - 11:43 am

    I have to admit I began following your blog when I started my own a few months ago as a way to get my writing mojo going, but have only now made the time to sit and start reading through your posts. As a pre-published author (like that phrase!), I have a lot to learn, so I look forward to catching up on your posts as well as your latest book (which I just purchased). Thank you!

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