If you’re an American, you’ve undoubtedly seen the Energizer commercial ads featuring the Energizer Bunny. Have you noticed that he just keeps moving and pounding that tiny little drum, no matter what? Nothing stops him. He goes over stuff or around it. He moves forward and on and on and on… He never, ever quits!
If you’re a new writer, that’s exactly who you need to emulate. I’m not suggesting that you run out to the costume shop and don a pink bunny suit, but I am encouraging you to take a lesson. Never allow anything to stop you! No matter what!
We’ve talked about ridding yourself of negative influences, but you’ll still run into adversity, and you will get rejections, no matter how good a writer you are. Every time you walk to that mailbox and see the returned letter, you need to embrace it! You need to decide what you can take away from that rejection and what you can use in your writing. You can NEVER allow adversity or rejections to stop you. I could paper my walls with mine!
I remember when I wrote my first short story and was talking to my in-laws about it. They smiled sweetly, and I could just see in their eyes that they thought I didn’t have a chance of success. You know, I think that kind of steeled me. The more people kept hinting that I was jousting with windmills, that I would never sell a single thing as a writer, the more I insisted that I would. My whole reputation was tied up in that dream, and I was determined to make it happen.
That’s the kind of persistence you need to have! You can’t listen to what people tell you. You can’t worry that you’re looking like a fool. You just have to keep learning and doing and practicing to be a writer, and no matter what, you can’t let anything stop you.
OK so maybe you do suck. That’s really not the issue. Everyone sucks when they first start trying to write professionally. Seriously. They don’t know what a great lead is like. They don’t understand characterization or point of view. And on and on…
But the more you write, the more you learn about writing (and you should be studying style and convention along the way, every day, too), the better you’ll become. Your writing will mature just like everything else you’ve done in your life, including growing up. Think of it that way. You’re still young. YOU will improve.
You have to make selling your first piece of writing your goal. You have to make it your religion. And you have to pursue that goal with a passion to succeed. And you have to be like the Energizer Bunny. Keep going and going and going…