I read this quote from an interview with writer Amy Spencer at GalleyCat, about staying positive as a writer -
It’s our passion. Some people grow up and live an entire lifetime without having a passion. They can’t figure out what they want to do, they try to do different things, but nothing really clicks in their soul. As hard as writing can be, it is worth remembering that you have something you know you are passionate about … I would rather be doing this than hiking to some particular job in some particular office, doing something that didn’t feed my soul in any way at all.
It’s also helpful to remember that the more you write, the better you get. Always. Whether you are writing a blog post, the fourth version of your novel, grants or technical writing to pay the bills. Whatever you are writing, it is making you better. There is no lost time, there is no lost cause, there are no lost words. Everything is going towards something good.
There’s also an MP3 here.
I love her concept of emergency optimism, as a tool we can call on when needed. She believes we can all train ourselves to be more positive and optimistic. She talks about seeing the hard slog of writing as a “present to our future”.
I need to remember that, when I feel that I am wasting time. When the writing doesn’t seem to be moving forward. That chapter that didn’t work and was binned. That character stuff I wrote and never used. That sub-plot that I had to rip right out because it added nothing to the story. That 100 page false start. The workshop exercises that will never be part of a story. All that is making me a better writer. A stronger writer. A writer who’s not afraid to edit.
Hopefully, a writer who learns how to write good, emotionally deep and powerful stories that can give my readers joy.