Just Keep Writing

Just Keep Writing

When I first started, my passion for writing was on fire and red hot. I had written a 750,000 manuscript monstrosity soaked with southwest Mississippi backwoods lingo — phrases that could be traced to the late 1800s. It was so pungent that even the best of country folks today had a hard time understanding it. To say the least, I had much work to do and no idea what I was doing. In that moment, I felt a bit defeated and could’ve stopped dead in my tracks. But, I didn’t.

As I was signing my first publishing contract, I was told, “There will be discouragements thrown at you from every direction.” I asked, “What do I do?” She smiled. “Just keep writing.” I took her words seriously and that’s what I did. I’ve learned a lot since then through the ups and downs, good times and some not so good.

So let me encourage you that when you…

• Think your writing is no good, just keep writing.

• Don’t place in a writing contest, just keep writing.

• Submit a manuscript for publication and get a rejection letter, just keep writing.

• Think your creativity is spent, just keep writing.

• Believe you are too young or too old to be doing this, just keep writing.

• Get an edited manuscript back from a publisher and its bleeding red ink.

• Get a bad review again.

• Receive disparaging comments from those who have little to show for their own work.

• When people who aren’t writers tell you that you aren’t, just keep on writing.

I’m sure you could add many others to this short list.

When you’re feeling mighty low, maybe thinking of quitting, stop and join David of the Old Testament when he hid in a cave from King Saul who wanted him dead. The text reads, “And David encouraged himself in the Lord.” Sometimes we must strengthen ourselves in the work we have been called to do. You’re a writer. Let no one take that away from you.

Bestselling author, John Scalzi once said, “Every creative I know was told by numerous people that they should ‘be realistic’ and that they ‘probably didn’t have what it takes.’ Every. Single. One. The books you read and the movies you watch were made by the people who didn’t listen. Be one of those people.”

Even after all the wonderful things, and some not so wonderful, I have experienced as a writer and author, I still feel as though I don’t know what I’m doing. But that’s not all bad, I guess. It certainly keeps me learning and growing. But one thing is for certain—my passion for writing is still red hot and on fire. So whatever comes my way, I just keep writing.

Anthony Wood
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