A few weeks ago we asked you to send us your thoughts on how you would encourage a struggling writer in 100 words or less. And we got so many wonderful entries from all over the globe! Over 70 writers sent their beautiful, inspiring words; it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few that could fit in a blog post.
But narrow it we did, and these five entries particularly stood out. If you love the words of these writers, let them know in our comments section! And of course, feel free to post their paragraphs (one or all) near your writing space to inspire you when you’re in a slump.
Thanks to everyone who entered! We may post entries in future issues of Submit Write Now! But until then, enjoy these wonderful gems!
Katie Dilts: Write. Write when it hurts. Write when it feels good. Write when you want to. Write when you don’t. Write when you have a direction. Write when you have no idea where it’s going. Write when you want everyone to see. Write when you want to keep it to yourself. Above all, write for you. Too many writers write solely what they think their readers want to hear. Write truth. Your truth. Whenever a great piece of work is written, the world takes notice. Sometimes the world just takes longer than we would all like.
Glenn Hameroff: Fall in love with rejection. Everyone starts off their career bemoaning their receipts of these daggers to the heart. I took the opposite strategy. I wanted as many as possible—organized into a folder with plastic pages. Editors who invested more into their rejection notice received a full-page display. Mimeographed rejection notices received a poorly constructed collage. The dichotomy of rejection so occupied my mind that when I received an acceptance letter, it was simply a matter of fact. I even wrote an essay about the variety of rejection notices, which was quickly and impersonally rejected. Take joy in rejection notices.
Diann Tongco: If you’re struggling with your writing, I have good news. That means you ARE writing, which is the first and hardest step. Here are two tips: The first is to simply skip the hard part. Move on to the next chapter or scene; find a section that’s not so difficult and start there. Second: Don’t take it so seriously. Write a silly scene; free your creative juices. Granted neither of these two ideas will result in a well-honed final draft, but you can always edit later. If you don’t write, you won’t get to the editing part. Now go, write!
Helen Colella: Appreciate all writers. Believe in yourself. Challenge creativity. Dream of success. Explore fact, fiction, and fantasy. Focus on your writing career. Go the distance. Hold tight to dreams. Invest in classes, workshops, and conferences. Join a critique group. Keep abreast of publishing needs. Live, love, and laugh. Make every word count. Nourish the body, mind and soul. Open your mind to knowledge. Prepare and be positive. Query first. Read, read and read. Set goals. Trust in yourself. Understand the impact of words. Venerate language. Write. Write. Write. X-out all negativity. Yodel and yell over every accomplishment. Zoom in—complete projects.
Annie Star: To begin is to be half done! Corny, right? Cliché, definitely! But, oh, so true. Getting started is the absolute hardest part. Just write. Get down all your ideas no matter how crappy or disorganized. Rewrites and new inspiration are easy once you have that sloppy copy down. I can personally testify that this advice has worked for countless school papers and/or deadlines. Any of my children will tell you that it’s my mantra. Beginning is truly your biggest obstacle. And you can handle that!
Congrats (and thanks!) again to the winners!
WRITERS: Which line (or lines) from these words of encouragement speaks directly to you?