Monday, February 8, 2016

Writing Success Breeds Writing Success

I was sitting in a Weight Watchers meeting one night when a member uttered this eye opening comment. "Success breeds more success." I clearly saw how it related to weight loss as each pound shed helped me believe I could lose more.

Two years later I am finally grasping how that mantra could lead to writing success. As I attempted once again to revive an old short story, and once again to start a new novel I intend to actually finish, I came upon that age old wall called writer's block. I never believed I had writer's block as I defined it as not having any idea what to write. My problem has always been having too many ideas and not being able to decide which to work on first.

My writing wall comes when just feel like all this writing, the time and the paper and ink involved will lead to nothing but file cabinets filled with half-finished or forgotten stories, novels and poems. I ask myself why bother? Why not just go out and have fun?

But then that little phrase nudged against my brain and I thought, well, I have numerous stories, essays and poems published so why not learn from them.

Personal essays have been published in a number of anthologies. Short stories and poems have been published in journals such as Persimmon Tree, Storyteller, Metro Moms and The Writer's Eye. That being the case my writing must be pretty decent. If I've published before then surely I can achieve some publication success again. I even once had a full novel manuscript requested based on my query letter. Though it wasn't accepted, it did make me feel somewhat successful. Well, at least I'd had a good story idea.

So whenever I feel like sitting at my desk writing is a waste of time, I remember that I have had moderate success as a writer. And that must mean there is more success to come. 

I have to keep going to my notebook and writing page after page of this novel until it is complete. Then I have to revise it. Then revise again and then submit.

Sooner or later that wave of success will return and I will be on my way. I cannot get discouraged. I must write on.