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Monday, January 23, 2012

Don't try, don't fail. Don't try, don't succeed, either.

I'm at a point in the story I'm working on right now where I'm feeling a bit dry.  The beginning was easy to do, I know how the end will be, but I've reached that transitional point where I'm not sure what is happening now, but I need to make the transition into some more action/plot.

When I write and I get to the dry point in the story (as I almost always seem to once in each story I write) I get so frustrated.  In the past, this is the point where I give up and shelve the story.  Some of the stories I have shelved will most likely never see the light of day again, and it kind of upsets me, but that's just how it goes.  Not every story idea will get written, not every beginning will have an end.

As tough as it is sometimes, we just have to push through because we know it's a transitional period.  That's applicable to both my story and my life at the moment.  I'm broke, living with parents temporarily (which is fine, because parents are great once I grew out of my whiny-no-one-understands-me-because-I'm-a-know-it-all-teenager phase and realized they actually know quite a bit about life), and trying to get my act together and really figure out where I want my life to be and how I want to get there.  I know this is temporary- someday I'll be in my own home again with more than just $30 and half a tank of gas to my name.  I know that bills will be paid every month, and I will be able to live comfortably and help others to do the same, but for now, I have to live through where I'm at.

Acknowledging that being broke and in a rough patch of life is just a temporary thing gives me a lot of comfort.  I think that's why I don't let the hard times take me down- I'm still happy, I still enjoy life (and always will), and I know that with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, things will get better.

The difference between writing and everything else I've wanted to do (and it's a long list of careers- comedian, singer, coroner, film editor, phlebotomist, CEO of the Disney Company, just to name a few) is that I feel like I'm actually trying at this.  In the past, I've never put as much effort into things as I should have, and I think that is because I was afraid of failing.  If I didn't try, I couldn't fail.  But not trying in itself is a failure, in my opinion, and if we never try anything, then nothing will ever happen.  No one is going to make dreams come true for us, plain and simple.  If we want something, we have to work for it.  If we aren't willing to work for it, then we probably don't want it as much as we may have thought.

If I fail at writing and becoming a successful writer, at least I will know I tried.  And in the end, I think trying and failing is much better than not trying and always wondering what could have been.


  1. I really feel you on this one, Stef. I too am broke and living at home. Being a substitute teacher, I am always on call but not called very regularly. Working two or three days a week is "a lot." So I've been writing like a fiend. I too hope to publish something someday. I agree with you that not trying is just failing in a different way.

    1. You can do it, Alexandra! Keep plugging on, and you'll get there, I believe. It's excellent that you have the substitute teaching job- education is so important, and educators (substitutes definitely included) are under-appreciated more often than not. Without educators, we'd be a pretty sad world.

      May I recommend J.A. Konrath's blog to you? He gives some excellent advice: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

  2. well, the thing is never give up and be stubborn, but still be wise in living (like finding a job). Writers like us believe in our story (right?), we should because if we shouldn't, then who will. But i think its not about the quantity of you write, its about the quality.
    I just found your comment at Amanda Hocking's blog and by so, I congratulate you in your 5 day sales.

    1. I completely agree, J.Carl! Quality over quantity. It's better to have one amazing book than fifty terrible ones. And thank you very much for the congrats, I appreciate it! :)