Recently I received the news that someone I know was getting published. Now, normally I wouldn’t have a problem with this scenario. Being a writer myself, I know how tough it can be. This particular case was a bit more closer to home, which brought out the green-eyed monster.
From my own experience I have also taken years to write the rough drafts for three of my own novels, however, my novels are still not of a high enough standard to send out to publishers. I began wondering why my novels were taking so long and asked myself ‘when is enough editing and re-writing enough’? Clearly, I was being unreasonable and too hard upon myself. This is what I did to overcome it:-
- I began telling myself that everyone’s road to publication is different. For some authors, they may have been writing only a few short years before they become published; others can take a great many years.
- I listened to music and went for walks. Exercising gave me time to think clearly and rationally, while music helped to cheer me up and de-stress.
- I shared my feelings with fellow writers. My writer’s group meets casually once a month, so this is where social networks really do help.
- I tried to stay positive, recalling what others have said about my writing. For example, a writing teacher once wrote that I had ‘great potential’ – something she didn’t see in many of her students, a member from my writer’s group said that my ‘writing was good. You’ll get published one day; it’s only a matter of time’. Stop the negative and embrace the positive.
- I began writing. The only way around a problem, is to work your way through it. To get better at writing, one must keep writing. Being a perfectionist, I need to realise that my rough drafts are bound to ‘suck’, but I will be the only person to see it in that form. Rough drafts can always be fixed.