Friday, July 27, 2012

Keeping yourself Inspired

Firstly, I would like to thank Misha, for inviting me to appear on her blog. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here. Misha is one of the first few bloggers I met online.

Inspiration is one of my favourite topics, as I need to constantly inject myself with mega doses of it. We writers are susceptible to feelings of despair and insecurities, courtesy bad reviews, rejection from agents and unfavourable comments from crit partners and beta readers, in this scenario we have to constantly motivate ourselves and be our biggest supporter.

An unshakeable faith in our abilities and stories is a prerequisite. Just because a few agents passed on our projects doesn’t mean that we are bad writers. It’s just a case of different tastes.

One of my favourite saying, is the one by Ralph W. Emerson, “If I have lost the self-confidence in myself, I have the Universe against me.” This applies not just to writing, but to every creative person, be they singers, dancers or painters. It applies to us writers perfectly. When we lose confidence in ourselves, our stories and our characters, not only are we doing a grave injustice to ourselves, but we are also cheating ourselves.

We are not just writing, I feel we writers are taking dictation from God. It’s He who wants us to tell the unique stories that reside in our hearts. Rejections and criticisms should not deter us, infact, they should strengthen our resolve to tell the best story that we can. We should strive to turn our detractors into our biggest supporters.

Practically every writer I know has faced rejection and braved harsh criticism to churn out words which have enthralled readers worldwide. What kept them going was their faith in their stories and a belief that they could and would do it.

There are ways we can motivate ourselves. I am a published author, struggling to get an agent, and get my new books published. Whenever feelings of despair accost me, I open my cupboard and pick up the author copies of my first few books. I tell myself that, “if I can do it once, I can do it again.” This fills me up with renewed enthusiasm to get back on the publishing bandwagon that I had temporarily abandoned.

We should have the belief that there is someone out there, maybe in a remote corner of the world, waiting to be inspired by our words, waiting to be entertained by it, waiting to bond with the characters. Do we have a right to deprive those people of inspiration, entertainment or bonding, because of our low self-esteem?

Even if our words motivate and inspire only a handful of people, or entertain the same number, isn’t that much more than what we hoped for when we typed that first word. So, don’t let anyone stop you from writing as you never know who you will Inspire with your story.

Thank you Misha, for giving me this opportunity to talk about inspiration with your readers.

Rachna Chhabria has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Literature and Journalism. She is the author of The Lion Who Wanted to Sing and Bunny in Search of a Name. Several of her stories have appeared in Penguin Anthologies. She teaches Creative Writing in college. She lives in Bangalore, India.

http://rachnachhabria.blogspot.in/

18 comments:

  1. Rachna is awesome! She's right - if we can do it once, we can do it again.
    And God wanted me to write space opera? I'm good with that!

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  2. An important topic and uplifting essay.

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  3. Thank you for this post.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly
    http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

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  4. True inspiration and motivation must always come from within.

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  5. Alex, you are an inspiration to us. Yes, my motto is that if we can do it once, we can do it again.

    Richard, thanks. Hopefully, I can inspire someone with this post.

    Shelley, you are welcome :)

    Diane, I agree that true inspiration must come from within. It works much better that way, than just external inspiration and motivation.

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  6. Wonderful topic! A real boost of inspiration.
    Whenever I visit Rachna's place, I learn something new and empowering...

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  7. Thanks Rachna. This is such an importand post. We ALL need inspiration!

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  8. Inspiring words, Rachna! Thank you!

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  9. Fantastic guest post! It's so true. I especially love that quote by Ralph Emerson. I always say that if you don't believe in yourself, than no one else has a reason to. :)

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  10. Great guest post. Really inspiring. :)

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  11. Very inspiring. I especially love about God writing through us. Sometimes I feel like it's not me, but Someone else, dictating the words and I'm just an observer.

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  12. So true! You've got to believe in yourself; otherwise, how can you expect others to believe in you? Great post, Rachna! Also, even when you have an agent, the insecurity does not end there. You still need to worry about getting an editor/publisher's attention. And once you get a book deal, and your book is published, the insecurity still won't end. You'll have to worry about readers' reviews and receptions of your book. So really, the best thing to do is keep that inspiration alive and believe in yourself. Easier said than done, I know, but it's the only way to stay sane. :)

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  13. I appreciate this, thank you Rachna, for sharing, and Misha, for hosting! One thing I am especially grateful for is other writers and bloggers who always encourage me on the journey.

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  14. "Do we have a right to deprive those people of inspiration, entertainment or bonding, because of our low self-esteem?" Ha, I hadn't thought of it that way. I love this way of thinking. Wonderful post, Rachna! Loved it.
    Thanks, Misha for hosting Rachna.

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  15. Thank you, Rachna. I agree that it is always tough to put yourself out there creatively since we are in our art.

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  17. Michelle, thanks. I learn a lot from other bloggers too.

    Johanna, inspiration perks up our creativity, on the days we feel low, our writing suffers.

    Lydia, thanks.

    Madeline, yes, if we lack a faith in our abilities, how will we convince people that we can tell good stories.

    Ciara, thanks.

    Bethie, at times it does feel that someone else is writing through us.

    Traci, thanks.

    Precy, getting an agent does not put an end to our insecurities, maybe it just relaxes us that one part of our journey to publication is over. There will still be many more hurdles to cross.

    Karen, yes, other writers and bloggers sure are a huge blessing. Their support is invaluable.

    Lynda, I said that from experience. Whenever I feel low, I end up meeting a reader who asks when my next book will be out, or they ask what am I writing now. It kind of cheers me up that someone is looking out for my next book :)

    Leslie, when our work is out there in the world, we feel naked and vulnerable, thinking of all the reactions it will get.

    Misha, thanks once again for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

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