Sure, imagine the Josh Groban song wailing at full volume if you’d like, but the sentiment holds true.
In so many areas, not just in writing, we meet temporary failure, frustrations, and setbacks on a daily basis, and sometimes they can build up to the point they seem overwhelming. Sometimes they can even be overwhelming. And it’s unbelievably tempting, when it hits that sunken road, to just say screw it. Let it go. I give up.
Don’t ever, ever give up.
(Unless your goal is to become a serial killer, in which case my advice is: GIVE UP AND GET HELP)
I’m not saying you can’t feel frustrated. We’re all there. When things aren’t going your way, when your goals are consistently stymied, when you want nothing more than to call your friends and have them come over with ice cream/liquor/bad movies/all of the above…that’s okay. Go for it! Ride the frustration, accept it for what it is, allow yourself to wallow in it for a few hours.
Then get up and get back to what you were doing.
And see how you can do it better.
Of course, it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes the answer isn’t necessarily improvement, but persistence and patience. Patience. Sucks. We all know that. We’re all there. None of us have to like it, but it can be a necessity. Sometimes, no matter the rejections, we just have to keep going.
My mother’s in the job market right now, and she’s had some amazing interviews, only to be told again and again that she was the second choice. When people make jokes about second place winner being first place loser, they aren’t entirely joking (unless they were the first place person, in which case they’re just being an ass hat). Being in that place, of being good and qualified and exceptional but still not getting the job, is one of the worst places in the world, because it seems like the entire world is conspiring to tell you: You’re just not good enough. You’re unworthy. You might as well give up.
And tonight after our weekly family dinner, my mom turned to me and said that she finally understood a bit more of what it means to be a writer trying to get published; she recognized now the courage it takes to gather everything up and funnel it into a query letter and send it out, hoping against hope that someone- anyone- will want to bite. And she understood better what it feels like when you do get that bite, but the fish ends up slipping the line.
And I told my mom the same thing she’s been telling me my whole life: don’t give up. Keep trying, keep working, keep dreaming, keep doing. Keep on keepin’ on.
Now I’m saying it to you. Whatever your struggle or obstacle, whatever your goal, whatever the forces and actions dragging you down, DON’T GIVE UP. Not every dream comes true, but that shouldn’t ever mean that you stop trying or that you stop working. Belt out Josh Groban if you have to- he’d probably love it- but do whatever you have to do to inspire yourself to take that next step. It doesn’t matter if it’s slow, and it’s okay if it’s painful.
As long as it keeps going.
Until next time~