Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do You Ever Wonder If It's Worth It?

"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins not by strength but by perseverance." - H. Jackson Brown

I've been thinking a lot about this quote lately, mostly because I'm not really where I want to be in my writing life. So many things keep getting in the way. If only I had hours and hours to just sit and craft my stories!

But then I got to thinking that even my little nuggets of writing time have pushed me forward. I'm persevering because writing is important to me, even if it isn't the highest priority.

So, if my writing goals are the stream, and the rock is everything else that seems to be a barrier to my writing goals, then, according to H. Jackson Brown, perseverance is all it will take to win that battle.

I've decided to tell myself three things when I don't have the strength or energy anymore and am wondering if it's all worth it.

1. It's okay to take a little break sometimes and recharge my creative batteries.

2 When I think my writing sucks, I'm going to go back and look at the fan mail I've gotten and re-read those reviews from people that loved my stories.

3. I love writing and creating because it fulfills me in a way that no other talent could.

Writing is a part of me, and while the slice of time it currently gets in my life isn't what I'd like it to be, I'm trying hard to be satisfied with just persevering for now. And I know, deep down, that it will all be worth it in the end.


Debra Erfert said...

Let me throw a pebble in you stream and see if it makes a splash--or even leaves a ripple in the surface.

What if you never get any of your writing published? I mean, what if all you do is write, but because of, oh, I don't know--the quick involvement into another story you can't get out of your head, or the inability to write a simple synopsis takes you on a never-ending cycle of writing? Then is writing to be considered just a pastime? A hobby in which to relax in? I find myself at this impasse, wondering why I chose to read, yet, another book instead of doing what I must to complete the task.

Sometimes the stream will change its course when the rock is too big.

Shanda said...

I love that quote. I really needed to hear it today, too.

One of my goals was to write every day in January. I haven't done it once. Okay, so I've written reviews and blog posts and tweets, but January isn't working out well for my manuscript. But you know, I'm okay with that for now. Stuff has come up that ultimately really does matter more right now. So I will try again in February. Stuff will come up then, too, I'm sure, but I'm working to line up my priorities so writing rises higher in the list.

My one little word this year is FINISH. And that's what I'm going to do. :)

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

Perseverence may help but a lot of the time, one's failure has nothing to do with the person. Bad stuff happens to bad people all of the time. It has nothing to do with how hard you try. You just get screwed.

Brittany said...

Man, did I need this today. This and a Diet Coke. Thanks, Julie!

BTW, did you ever get the email I sent you a while ago? Just want to make sure it didn't get lost.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I actually had that conversation with myself when my first book was rejected. I felt like maybe my writing was only good enough for a folder at the family reunion or something. But when I evaluated what I really wanted to do with my writing, I knew I wanted to try again with publishing and so I did. I think every writer has to have that conversation with themselves at some point---is it a hobby, or do you want to keep trying to be published? And you're right, it might end up being a change in course.

Shanda, I think that's the key word because if you persevere you will eventually finish. At least that's what I tell myself. :)

Michael, that's true, people get screwed all the time, but I believe it's successful people who get up and try again and use their experience to learn from and be better in spite of it.

Brittany, I did get your email. Thank you! :)

Kaylee Baldwin said...

This is where i'm at right now--the perservere stage. I really like this quote. When I get discouraged, I keep thinking that I don't have to be the fastest writer or the funniest writer, or any of those -est words that put too much pressure on me. I just have to enjoy what I'm doing and put out the best writng I can, or else why am I taking away time from reading and relaxing in the down time my kids are asleep if I'm miserable.

Stephanie Black said...

Great post, Julie. Perseverance is definitely one of the most vital qualities we need as writers!