It might just be my corner of the internet, but it seems like a lot of writers are feeling down lately. Writers who are still revising or querying or on sub are lamenting the fact that they aren't where they want to be yet, while their friends or acquaintances are visibly moving forward. Writers worry they aren't good enough, that they'll never be published, that they're foolish to even try.
I'm not here to tell you that you shouldn't feel that way. All those feelings are valid and normal. Writing is a tough career. It takes a lot out of you, and what you put in doesn't always manifest in tangible returns--and even when it does, it's often not at the pace we'd like. You can work hard, do all the right research, and query your manuscript until the cows come home, and still not have an agent to show for it. And that definitely stinks.
What I am here to tell you, though, is that you are enough.
Even when you don't feel like it, other writers enjoy your company.
Even when you think no one is listening, other writers value your opinion.
Even if publishing doesn't "get" your story at this moment, your story matters.
When it feels like you've been querying forever, remember that some reader, somewhere, needs to hear your story, and will love it as much as you do someday.
Remember that when you write your heart story, it is a gift to the world, even if the world isn't ready for it yet.
Remember that heart stories come in a beautiful multitude of shapes, sizes, experiences, and themes, and the more people read, the more empathetic they become.
Remember that telling stories creates empathy and bonds between human beings, and helps shift us all toward a better world.
When it feels like you'll never be good enough to be published, look back on where you were six months ago, a year ago, five years ago. As long as you're growing as a writer, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL.
When the rejections come and you feel lost in the dark, remember: you are the hero in your own story. The path we choose shapes us. Write yourself a path forward.
Remember that all writing advice is just that--advice, not a fool-proof formula.
No matter how many times you see it as a meme or quote on the internet, you do NOT have to write every day to be a writer. You DO need to take care of your physical and mental health to be a writer, so take breaks when you need them.
Last of all, remember: You are important. You are loved. You matter.
If you ever need a sympathetic ear or a virtual shoulder to cry on, I'm here, slogging through the revising and querying trenches with you. @ me on Twitter if you need to talk. I hope today's pep talk helps.
Every Wednesday and Saturday we bring you an edit tip of the day. Be sure to check out the archives for our popular summer series of SHOW DON'T TELL workshops!