Writing is a lonely job. Rarely (if ever) do you sit with another person and craft sentences together. Even collaborations are a series of distant back and forth.
The rewards are worth it because you’ll soon be connecting with your audience, right? But what happens when your audience doesn’t exist yet? How do you keep going?
Find Your Why
Make a list — either in a notebook or a word document. Write down your top 5,10, or 100 reasons for wanting to write. Are you trying to make some extra money or do you have a story inside you that needs to be told? There are no wrong answers here.
Put the list somewhere accessible so that you can refer to it on the bad days when you can’t remember why you are pursuing this craft and need to be reminded.
Add additional reasons as they come to you. This does not need to be a static list.
Allow Yourself to Feel Frustrated
Writing can be frustrating. It’s hard to pour your soul out into the world and feel like no one is there to receive it. It’s disheartening to be rejected from a publication. Frustration, anger, and sadness are all valid feelings.
Acknowledge those feelings, but don’t let them stop you.
Take some time to evaluate what you are feeling and identify what is causing those feelings. Then pick up your pen and get back to work. If it helps, write about your feelings.
Reflect on Progress Being Made
Did your last story get a few more view than the one before? Were you able to write it faster? Did you write a few more words? Was getting started a little easier than last time? Did you find the perfect image for your story?
Celebrate the little wins and small signs of progress. They matter. They add up.
Focus on the Things You Can Control
You cannot control who reads your story or how many people read it.
You can control how often you write. You can control how many words you write. You can control what publications you submit your story to. You can control who you ask…