Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Holding On

Recently, I wrote about determination, and one of my dear blogging friends brought up a very valid point that's just as valid in holding on continuing to write. 

Belief in yourself. 

And now I know everyone is rolling their eyes. Thinking that I'm going into power of positive thinking territory. 

Uhmmm... no. And let me mention one thing. If I ever say that I think that positive thought will create positive events on their own, you can shoot me. Because odds are that I'm rabid. 

Because the way I see it (and I'm quite vocal about this) is that positive thinking serves to give you the determination to do what you need to do. But hey, there are people who think differently about positive thought, and maybe they're right. 

Anyway... I'm digressing really - did you hear Margaret Thatcher died?- really badly. 

The fact is, writing a book is only the beginning. That finished product has a name. A first draft. After that, you have a second draft (maybe) and revisions (definitely) and edits (ad nauseum). And then... then comes this terrifying and truly trying time of a writer's career. Querying and publishing. 

Because you're probably going to get treated like your writing sucks. 

A lot. 

So. To make a long story short, determination alone won't cut it. You need to believe in your abilities as a writer. In the beginning, you won't have that, but your confidence will grow as you learn. And then, you also have to believe in the potential of your story. Once you're really finished, you need to believe in the strength of it. 

Because if you don't, you won't make it. This I promise you. If your faith in yourself and your skills isn't strong enough, you'll buckle at the first no you get. Or at the first bad review if you self-publish.

And none of us want that. Because it might mean that we readers miss out on some wonderful stories you wrote. Or could have written. 

Don't lose faith when things take longer than expected. You'll get there in the end. 

If you hang on enough. 

Who of you veteran novelists were almost at the point of giving up when you got a  "yes"? Any stories of determination from the self-publishing trenches? 

48 comments:

  1. Writing is like show business. You get rejected a lot. Others are better than you. Some are worse. That's just the way it is, so hanging in there, believing in yourself when others don't is one heck of a challenge.

    I have trench stories about both traditional and self-publishing. Indeed, I do.

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  2. I think that once you've written your novel, you have to become a bit detached because you are wearing a different hat -- the promotion one and it is different and challenging in another way. Detachment helps because we do fall in love with our words.

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  3. Self belief is vital. I struggle with it on a daily basis, but I haven't given up yet so I'm either determined or crazy. Maybe both...

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  4. I write. I don't plan to give up either.

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  5. It is important never to give up no matter what it is you are attempting to do. :)

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  6. Didn't it take JK Rowling quite a few years to finish the book, find an agent and finally get it published? While I'm not the biggest fan of Harry Potter her writing journey is inspirational. She got quite a lot of rejections but she kept going and look where she is now. It's worth it to keep going. :) Great post!

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  7. It's tough to keep going when you seem to be getting nowhere fast. But determination and self belief are your friends so embrace them and try to enjoy the journey who knows what might be just around that next bend.

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  8. You have to keep at it I suppose. Rome was not built in one day etc.
    You have to be in it for the long haul... it has to become a way of life!

    Writer In Transit

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  9. A positive attitude and outlook even after the book is published is definitely needed. There are harsh reviews, people who won't love it, and people who will bash you personally even if they don't know you at all. And if you let all this get to you, then it's nearly impossible to write another book and put it out there.

    Getting crit notes, querying, submissions... they are all steps to prepare you for the real deal. And it's scary, and it's going to really suck some days, but as long as you keep your chin up and remember your friends, your family, and what you love about your own writing, you just keep going at it.

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  10. The difference between an amateur writer and a professional one is that the latter didn't quit. I don't know who said this but I agree...

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  11. I never thought about giving up. I did get deeply discouraged at one point. But I figured what all else was I gonna do. Not everyone, dear Misha, can just switch to acting or singing like you lol.

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  12. You made me laugh so much about being rabid. Love it as I hate all the touchy-feely let's be positive stuff LOL.

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  13. Holding on is important. If I didn't do that I wouldn't have the blog I have today.

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  14. As Jim Butcher puts it, "You don't have to outrun the bear; you just have to outrun the guy next to you."

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  15. Your posts are so great Misha thank you and funny! Have just gone back to the previous ones - a lot of wisdom there and revelation no less!
    And again so great that Doorways has been sold to Etopia - don't you want to call it Utopia?
    Am subscribing by email so I don't miss yours.

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  16. Belief in yourself yes, but friends who believe in you too

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  17. ~waves hand~ You want stories of holding on?

    SEVEN YEARS from first manuscript to published. Yes. SEVEN.

    If that's not holding on...I don't know what is ;)

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  18. Hi,

    I like your statement, positive thoughts give you the determination to do what you have to do.

    Just stopping by. it is my first time in the challenge and I am still learning how to do this.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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  19. I've got to get a stronger holding onitude! I started a novel and have started questioning myself already only a short way in.

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  20. I'm going to have to work on this. A lot. Thanks for an inspirational post.

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  21. Great post. I've almost given up on several occasions. Then I read an inspiring story from another writer or one of my friends says something, or I get a story accepted. Something will come along and get you motivated again.

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  22. Belief in oneself is important. I think positive thinking helps us deal better with the bad times and we can power through them.

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  23. Never let anyone tell you that who you are and what you have done is not good enough.
    Especially if they are in the same field which you are in, cause baby, they ain't seen nothing yet!!!
    Yeah!
    jean yates A to Z 2013--3rd year

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  24. Great motivational post! Persistence and holding on are so important. Make sure you get up every time you get knocked down.

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  25. I used to do the whole positive-thinking deal. Turns out, visualizing your dream agent is reading your book and loving it and then send you an email to beg her to let her represent you, well, it just doesn't work. :)

    It's taken me a long time to believe in writing, but it does make a difference when you do.

    Great post, Mischa.

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  26. Our brains are very like computers, which can be programmed with negative or positive thoughts. The choice is ours. And I think you're right, positive thoughts give you the motivation to keep on trying even in the face of rejection.

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  27. I love this advice! You just have to hang in there. Every no is a step closer to a yes. It could be the one right after the next no. You never know. (And if you do, you really must drive yourself crazy. . .) ;)

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  28. I totally needed this today, I've been feeling pretty crappy about myself, so thank you!

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  29. The only one who can tell you no is you.

    Writing has led to so many other things for me, some of which I enjoy even more than the writing.

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  30. Self-belief is a hard thing to achieve but it's what will push you through when it could seem pretty hopeless.

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  31. Don't take no for an answer, and you do need some armor in place when your work hits the public eye. You can't let it rule your future or your future work.

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  32. Self-believe is everything to me right now that's just me and I...or I and me, whatever. No one can come to do your homework, that's the truth. :)

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  33. Even though some people don't think so - how you think about things determines whether you will move forward or not. It is better to think positive about anything you do than to think negative. You can't let rejection keep you from moving forward in life. If your living life you will come in contact with rejection but keep moving forward!

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  34. I'm glad you're not rabid, though some of us feel that way at times. I think it's a combination of positive thinking and perseverance. Of course having talent helps too.

    Julie

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  35. Loved your line about being rabid. And yes, holding on to your faith, dream, determination or whatever it is inside of you that keeps you moving forward is so important.

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  36. The connection I've made online with other writers is invaluable - especially when I'm feeling down on myself.

    Tui Snider
    visiting from the #AtoZChallenge
    Twitter: @mentalmosaic
    Blog: http://www.mentalmosaic.com/blog

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  37. If you don't have -any- faith in yourself, you won't get far...especially as a writer. With rejection and hard times comes the determination we need to go on...at least it -should-!

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  38. very nice theme w/ lots of insight. I'm not writing a novel, I'm working on a non-fiction project, but it's always good to read about the process of getting published from anyone. I think we met LAST a-z. Nice to connect again! I became a follower. :-)
    from The Dugout

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  39. Thank you for this post, because is timely for me! I took a serious battering after the critique of my first draft. Your post reinforces what I've been telling myself every day. :)

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  40. Thanks for this timely reminder which is not just for the newbies to writing but for all of us.

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

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  41. I waver with every rejection I get but I'm learning to have faith and keep going. The 'what is the point? I may as well give up' episodes are getting shorter.

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  42. What a very positive message you give. I'm lucky to be endowed with self-belief and determination. Thanks for your visit.

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  43. PMA--Positive Mental Attitude. See, this is why I'm married to my hubby--because his optimism far outweighs my reality-based perspective. He tips my balance as I'm leaning over the edge of the precipice.

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  44. I like to keep my glasses half full. Positive thinking is so important on so many levels, as is determination.

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  45. I'm not sure I ever gave up, but I did stop writing in a specific genre.

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  46. So glad I found your blog! Good input!

    Mary
    www.maryeagius.com

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