Good Writers

Maybe the book didn’t come out the way you envisioned it would or maybe you’ve got a one-star review. Maybe your editor marked all up and down your manuscript or someone critiqued the confidence right out of you. Maybe you failed, miserably. And maybe you want to crawl underneath the covers and will yourself away. If only you could shrink so that even your body disappears. Maybe, just maybe you are becoming a good writer.

Good writers get negative feedback at some point, period. Good writers get it wrong A LOT. Good writers fail, miserably. Good writers have confidence that appears low because good writers are humble. Good writers are scared to death of publishing the next book because good writers are real. They mess up. They get mixed reviews and feedback.

The difference between their failures and those who quit is that good writers have failed so many times that they are equipped to handle disappointment. And therefore, have the resilience and maturity to get back up and try again.

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The next time you receive feedback that makes you want to cringe you gotta remember that you are in good company. Every good writer was a failure first and every master was first a student.

Don’t misunderstand me, everyday ain’t beautiful. I don’t want my optimism on this blog to be too sweet for you. Cheerfulness ain’t a pill you can take that will make it all go away. I don’t want you to think that the struggle isn’t real, but if you never mess up, if you have never doubted, if you have never failed, never been knocked down, and if you give up too easily then maybe you can never really become a good writer.

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Discouragement

Close-up of an English Bulldog Puppy, 2 months old, in a wicker basket, isolated on white I am not a robot for one. I have feelings and every now and again I do get discouraged. For me personally, these moments arrive during times I find it hard to measure my improvement or lack thereof. Especially when I know I have done all that I could do to ensure the proper outcome. It is always a good thing, in general,  to notice every little bit of advancement in our lives. To be able to recognize every step in the right direction, but  sometimes it’s just hard to see where that is exactly. “Did I take a step forward or backward?”  Despite the rising of the sun, every waking moment is not complete with rainbows and lollypops. As a result, you begin to feel that your work is not of value, that it is hopeless and brought forth in vain because despite talk of inspiration and encouragement, everyday ain’t beautiful. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why did I do that? Why do I do this? It doesn’t really matter anyway. No one listens and no one cares.”

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While we have all had (and have) our moments, discouragement can lead to different things. On the one hand, it can lead to a path of giving up, giving in to something of far lesser value, or not trying hard enough. But on a more positive note, it can help keep us humble in areas where we need to get over ourselves. It can help us to see what mistakes we’ve made and what flaws exist. Here’s a fun quote to help you to push back that first impulse to quit, push down that initial fear, push through feelings of helplessness and push ahead. It is then that you are less likely to find someone (or something) to blame, and to instead find a way through.

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds” – Mike Norton

Choices

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The Story

 
When enrolling in college was one of the most important and exciting times in my life, I couldn’t make it to her office fast enough. I cannot recall her name, only the exciting rush of anxiety that ignited in my heart and up to the creases of my face. She wasn’t anyone of particular specialty or significance, but what she represented was indeed important. She was my academic adviser and seeing her meant that I was on the road to something great. If I had not “made it” it was the step in the right direction. Little did I know the kind of revelations choosing this particular institution would cough up for me. Little did I know how much my life would change from this seemingly unimportant choice, which would have nothing to do with school, academia, or some fancy certificate to prove to the world how much I actually lacked in knowledge.

 
But on that day, I was deeply troubled to find a need to rush home immediately, shortly after my excited arrival to her door, (though I had not registered my classes), which ran me the risk of not being able to attend the classes I was so excited to be a part of. As I sat in front of her I quickly chose the additional courses required of me which I had not deeply thought about, I was just anxious to leave due my intense emergency. Thus, for that reason (which I am not apt to mention here because it’s just none of your business 🙂 ),  I discontinued my journey for the solemn one back home.

 
When I returned to the source of my redemption (so I thought back then), I found to my great disappointment the closing of one of my classes. Pieces of my day had so perfectly fit into its own schedule like the perfect puzzle, each class ending in time for the next one to begin, all in order like the perfect lyric over a tight beat—all was well. Except, now a word was out of place, a sentence incomplete; fragments of a schedule now off beat. “Why?” I asked myself, “…did I have to take a class so off schedule?” Unlike the rest, this African American studies course was the only class I had that day in the middle of the day (and it wasn’t even one of my primary classes, it was the one I rushed and chose the day before). I would now have to take public transportation (as I did not drive then), to this now dreadful place for one single class; this I did not have the bus fare for, and so you can imagine my discontent. However, seeing it was the only available course left I settled, and took the class anyway.

 
It didn’t turn out so bad though, and the first day of class would change my life forever. It would be the day I would actually meet my husband, and I would hear the voice of truth for the first time in 19 years. Instead of it being a dreadful one, this day would instead be something like the night before a revolution.

The Message

Choice

The purpose of this story is to show you the value in each decision we make. No matter how small or minute it may seem, each decision creates for us the next path like a molding of clay does a new form. Whether it is our desire to pursue a new career, attend a class or decide to take the bus North instead of South, every single decision you make puts you on the path to your tomorrow. It sounds cliche, but most cliches are such because of the depth of its truth. As each way has already been determined from the foundation of the world, we nonetheless make manifest that which has been done with the decisions we make. The irony in foresight is that we don’t have to be given the gift of hearing a doorbell ring before it does to possess this gift. But it exists naturally already in those who choose to acknowledge it. We may not be able to physically see the glass vase fall before it does, but we can choose to move it away from the edge of the counter, seeing that it may fall. We can decide what the next day will be like simply by carefully paying attention to each choice presented before us, letting truth lead, but choosing truth in the first place.

 

If we can choose our thoughts carefully, molding them into the right words and transforming these words into the exact representation of the action necessary for obedience; if faith can become works and works can produce righteousness, then maybe, just maybe we can develop a sense of foresight we didn’t know we had. Giving birth to a gift whose seed was already planted inside of us, but that we didn’t realize we had because we thought choosing to have cereal instead of oatmeal this morning was just about breakfast.