Today’s post is all about not giving up; not surrendering to those self-doubts that we have as writers in believing that we aren’t good enough to be published authors. It’s about digging deep and having faith that the words we create mean something, not just to us, but to a potential audience we haven’t even begun to imagine yet. Today’s post celebrates the fact that Rosie Garland, author of The Palace of Curiosities, won the ‘Co-operative Respect Loved by you Award 2013‘ in the book category, voted for by the general public.
I had the pleasure of meeting Rosie at the Manchester Literature Festival and was won over by her fabulous reading at Manchester Museum. During the evening she reiterated an oft repeated piece of advice that is regularly given by published writers to aspiring authors: Don’t Give Up. Despite her début novel winning the the Mslexia novel competition in 2012 she says it was rejected many times over prior to this.
There is no doubt this is a truth that affects many authors, published or not. The fact is we all get rejected somewhere along the line. The trick is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there. The only way that you can ever make it, that you can ensure your dreams come true, is by continuously trying to do the best you are capable of. That doesn’t just stand true for writing either (see the Michael Jordan quote at the end of this post!).
It’s been on my mind a lot recently – this idea of self-belief and the significance it holds in motivating and encouraging people. Having recently accepted that progress can often seem like ‘a bunch of failures‘ and realised how productive I can be if only given a reason to be so, the conviction I need to believe in myself and my ‘talent’ is much closer to the surface than it has been. Of course, writing isn’t necessarily my ‘talent’, it is a craft that I work hard to achieve. Therefore, the fantastic news that Rosie’s previously rejected novel is now winning awards voted for by her readership is a reminder that in order to accomplish our goals, we have to keep on fighting even when the going gets tough.
So, fellow writers, believe in yourself. If you plan to make any resolutions for 2014 let it be that you will leave self-doubt behind and forge on ahead with the conviction that you deserve that which you covet – be that a wider readership, publication or the top spot on Amazon’s self-published fiction list.
Don’t give up. Giving up is a sure-fire way to fail and not make progress. When you read back your work don’t dismiss the mistakes you’ve made along the way, but concentrate for a moment on the wonderful story you are creating. No one else could write it just like you, or imagine the characters that formed inside your head, and until you have the opportunity to share those stories with other people, have faith that you can finish what you started. You can do this.