Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Discouraging Word

“The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.” - James Whitcomb

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak” - Thomas Carlyle


Discouragement should be a four letter word.

Have you ever noticed how it feeds on itself? How much easier it is to believe the bad stuff?

This weekend, my DH was shocked to learn I wasn't making a six figure income off of my Wild Rose Press stories, and wondered why I bother working so much at my writing. See, the thing is, I take a lot of time to do my writing. I get up early to have some quiet time by myself -- and to do that, I go to bed early. DH is a night owl and with his horrible work hours, we don't see each other much during the week.

I'm quite happy with being paid for my short stuff at all. AND I've learned so much from the editors there... stuff I could have paid a fortune for at some class online. They've not only made my writing stronger, they've paid me to do it. He doesn't understand one simple thing: they are short stories. I'm not going to earn $10,000 off of each one. But his comments really slammed me right back down to earth after being so excited about the release of Tickle Fights and Barbecues.

I've been struggling with my writing all weekend. Every word I put down it the hardest word I've ever written. Last Wednesday, I set a goal of writing at least 1,000 words a day. I've written about 2,000 since then. Yes, I have written. That's just a manifestation of the sheer stubbornness that I was blessed with a birth.

The ironic thing is that my SIL read my latest story this weekend -- the first of any of my writing she's seen -- and told me she was impressed. That she didn't want the story to end. That I have real talent.

Why can't the good stuff matter more?

Fact is, I'll keep on writing because that's what I do. But I hate this rock in my gut that I've carried with me the past few days. It shadows everything because my writing is important to me.

Today, I'm giving myself a pep talk ("this is the best day of my life", "I love what I do, and the words flow from my mind to the page") and writing again. I need to not let the negativity get me down (not an easy thing to do) and keep looking forward and upward, not behind me.

And, more importantly, I'm going to write. Because that's what I do. That's who I am.

5 comments:

Allie Boniface said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you're feeling down. For what it's worth, I think that's a man thing: our society focuses on $$, and men in many cases are taught to be the breadwinners, the providers, so the bottom line is always about how much a task is worth. How much it will pay. Somehow, I think it's wired into their natures.

When I first signed with Samhain, my hubby tried to figure out, in the long run, how much $/hour I'd make off my writing. I said, "Don't even try. That's not why I write." But he still did.

It's tough balancing time to write with time to be a wife/ mother/ homemaker/ professional. But we try, and we do the best we can.

And we leave the men to their simple thoughts about money and sports and just smile when they start to rant.

Tori Lennox said...

*hugs* I think the large majority of the world think writers make tons of money and all live the high life.

Anonymous said...

You don't grind your own flour for the income, do you? Homeschool the kidlet because you get a big bucks paycheck out of it?

Some things are their own reward.

-d

Marianne Arkins said...

Thanks you guys! D, especially, for putting it in to perspective... and Allie, you made me laugh. I could picture your DH with his calculator out. Yup, Tori, writing is very glamorous... I spent yesterday with my dog pooper scooper! LOL...

Shauna said...

Marianne, I'm going to buy your books RIGHT NOW! You can tell your DH that you had a book sale today! I'm heading to Amazon........