Act as if you’re a writer. Sit down and begin. Act as if you might just create something beautiful, and by beautiful I mean something authentic and universal. —Dani Shapiro
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been unsure which direction to take with your writing, if self-doubt has nipped at your heels, or you’ve landed in the clutches of writer’s block or “second book syndrome.”
I thought so.
Writing rejections and disappointments nibble away at us like torture from half a million cuts. After a while, it feels as if we’re bleeding and can’t tolerate one more slash. Statistics show that more of us have the stamina to continue to take safety risks after a car crash than to continue after a series of psychological defeats. Writers often throw in the towel so they don’t have to continue feeling disappointment. Attempts to bring quick relief to the misery of defeat rob us of knowing what missed opportunities lay beyond the barrier. This impulsive reaction—scientists call it the what-the-hell effect—is a way out: permission to give up. Adding insult to injury, we seek comfort in the very thing we’re trying to conquer: writing failure.
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