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.