I wrote the following today on the Writer’s View Loop – I titled it “Writer’s Angst” in answer to the question “How do you handle the highs and lows of the writing life?”:
I have more conversations with clients about their feelings of anxiety, apprehension or insecurity than almost any other topic. Almost every writer I have ever worked with as an editor or an agent severely doubts themselves at some point in the process.
Doubts occur in the midst of creation.
Doubts occur when the disappointing royalty statement arrives. Doubts occur … just because…
It is the curse of the writer. Writing is an introspective process done in a cave…alone. It is natural to have the demons of insecurity whisper their lies. And, in a cave, the whispers echo and build into a cacophony of irrepressible noise.
But in the end there is the extraordinary feeling of accomplishment when the book is finished and that ministry of words begins.
A couple times a writer has cried, “But my book has only sold 5,000 copies!” I reply, “Put all 5,000 people into one room. Imagine it. A Megachurch auditorium filled with people, wall to wall. And every person in that room has paid money to read your book. And then you walk out onto the stage to give the glory and honor to our God.” That helps put things in perspective.
We don’t write for fame. We don’t write for glory. We write because we must.
And maybe your magazine article on praying for teens will arrive on my doorstep the very day that my wife and I are struggling with how to pray for our teenager. I say “thank you” to that writer who ministered to our family many years ago. Whose words were a breath of fresh air. That writer will never know what impact they had. And neither will you…at least in this life.
My advice? Embrace the lows as simply part of the process and keep the highs from distracting you (adrenaline is addictive).
The Steve Laube Agency
Thanks, Steve! I hope that this has helped and encouraged some of you out there. I know that this really spoke to me during the last two weeks of insanity.
Hugs to all!
Thanks for your comments, Steve. Very helpful! Especially now.
interesting article, thanks Steve for giving us your insite. 🙂
Great thoughts, Steve. Thanks Ronie, for posting this. It’s been a while since I’ve been discouraged. (It’s been a while since I sent anything out:) I’m definitely going to remember that mega church analogy! 5,000 books sold doesn’t seem so shabby from where I sit. Just hope I can remember that!
Thank you for sharing these encouraging thoughts! Love the 5000 people in one room.
Thanks so much, Ronie, for sharing:-)
Loved reading this. So true, so true. A really good reminder of who we’re really writing for. 🙂
Thank you…thank you…thank you. Excuse the repetition; it’s just the echo in my cave. 😉
Being a writer can be tough, but these are great words of encouragement. Thanks for taking the time to share!
If there was one word I could remove from my dictionary, it would be “angst.” ; )
Great words, Steve. Thanks for not just “spouting” them, but for putting them into practice.