Monday, September 13, 2010

It's OK to Not Be Happy All the Time

Tip of the Day: Feeling blue? Read through some of your early writing and pat yourself on the back when you see how much you have improved. Practice really does work.

If you're like me, and like most writers I know, you don't like to admit it when you feel discouraged. Rejections are supposed to happen, and writers are supposed to shrug them off. As for the discouragement of being stuck on a plot or not being happy with the pages you've written? Complaining about that is, well, nothing but complaining. Nobody's making you be a writer at gunpoint.

Writing means giving up family time, so for me, the last people I want to complain to are my family. They are the ones who live in a messier house, don't go out for movies with me, and watch me spend household money on writing classes and conferences. It seems like it would take a lot of nerve for me to make them listen to me complain about writing on top of everything else.

But last week, I couldn't take all the disappointment anymore and I broke down to my husband. Ugh, I've been writing for so long, why aren't I better at it?! Why is it still so hard for me? Will I ever sell anything? Do I have an ultimate goal here or am I just kidding myself?

And my husband was very surprised that it took me so long to talk to him. Keep going, he said. Don't keep it all inside. The people who love you want to support you. We believe in you.

Then he booked a babysitter and made reservations for us at a trendy restaurant.

So the lesson I have learned is one I have had to re-learn many times in my life. It's fine to ask the people you love for help and support. It really is. I can't always be Super Spouse or Super Parent. It's okay for the people around us to see that we try our best to achieve our dreams even when it's a huge effort--and that sometimes, this effort requires a little pampering.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


Andrea Mack said...

Kate, I loved your post. Lucky you to be married to such a supportive man!

Sometimes I feel terribly guilty about all the time I spend on writing - for the same reasons you mention. Everyone else in the family is affected by me pursuing my dream.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Awww, what a sweet husband. I'm sorry you've been feeling blue. *hugs*

Carmella Van Vleet said...

Kate - get out of my head! :-)

I'm sorry you've been feeling discouraged. I think it's so much easier for us to see talent in someone else than in ourselves - but trust me, there are a ton of folks who read your work and think, "Man, I wish I could write like Kate!"

Carmella Van Vleet said...
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Hannah said...

You're lucky with that husband of yours.

I experience the same doubts on a semi-daily basis. Great post!!

DeenaML said...

Great great great post. So glad you wrote it! <3

Kate Fall said...

Thank you all so much! It is nice to have a Prince Charming when you need one, but my writing friends help me keep the dream alive!