Dear Invisible Writer,
You pour heart, mind, and soul into your writing, often sacrificing living a ‘normal’ life to do so. Despite the costs. writing is a passion you wouldn’t dream of giving up. The stories living inside you simply must be given birth. For you, writing is as natural as breathing, and so you spend long hours at the keyboard, sometimes typing away when you should be sleeping. But that’s the easy part.
Especially in the beginning of a writing career, when you most need encouragement, you receive little. The literary world spins on, unaware of your existence. Bookstores and libraries or virtual shelves are already crammed full of books, and there doesn’t seem to be any room for more.
A bad critique, rejection letter, or some other disappointment leaves you wondering why you ever thought you could write. Why should you keep trying? No one sees you, understands your writing, or cares whether you succeed. You’re an invisible writer.
It can be all too easy to give up. I know this firsthand. You see, I once walked away from writing for life. The only trouble with this idea was that stories kept writing themselves in my head. Being me became decidedly uncomfortable.
Giving up your writing dream just isn't worth it.
I returned to writing, telling myself I didn’t have to succeed by anyone else’s definition of success but my own. Doing my best to become a traditionally published writer equaled success in my mind, whether or not I actually attained that desire. You’ll notice I didn’t call it a goal. That’s because attainment depended on the decisions of others. For more on this, read Setting SMART Goals You Can Live With.
I’m happy to say I am now living my dream, but to my way of thinking, I’d have been as successful by my own definition if I never did. The key to my contentment as a writer was to stop looking to others for affirmation, reassurance, and permission.
To give up that attitude, I had to believe in myself and in my calling to write. It’s harder to believe in yourself when no one else does, but I’m convinced that’s what separates those who go on to create a writing career and those who don’t.
If you’ll forgive a small diversion, I want to talk about shoes. Yes, shoes. Successful business people will tell you never to wear shoes that are run down at the heels. Even if no one else is likely to notice, you will notice, impacting your self-confidence.
Are you denying yourself what you need to succeed because you’re an invisible writer? ‘Dress’ for success from the start, and you’ll convince the only person who can make it all happen.