Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Working Through Adversity in Writing and Life (Part 1)

Challenges. Trials. Adversity. No matter the term you use, everyone will face them in our writing and our lives. Most of you who've been reading this blog for some time know about my youngest daughter's battle with the pediatric liver disease, biliary atresia. (You can read more about that adventure here.) Her subsequent transplant saved her life but didn't bring peace and certainty with it. It's not so easy for transplant recipients and their families. In spite of the uncertainty and strain, we knew we were never alone. That experience simmered inside with me until a book was birthed. 

Writers face adversity every day, perhaps not in such dramatic ways, but we face it. Our adversity includes:

- a story stalling in the middle

- revisions and rewrites

- feeling like you're not making progress in the craft

- believing we're just not good enough to be published 

- the specter of constant rejection

These are some of the reasons the writing life is anything but easy. No matter what you've written, it's been borne of many hours of hard work, sweat and tears. And that's just the first draft! Chin up, you're in good company. Every writer faces demons and frustration. We battle through it, continuing type more words, to edit our story, to wrestle with characterization. 

Loss and struggle are parts of life. There is no gold at the end of the rainbow but there is satisfaction that you're making progress; you're improving; and that at the end of the day you are a writer, no matter what else anyone tells you. That knowledge alone, and a place in the beautiful community of fellow writers, will be enough; enough to carry you through to the next stage of your career. Stay strong, you're not alone.

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