Most people, especially writers, have probably seen the Ernest Hemingway quote, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ We might be on ultrafast, portable devices now, but the sentiment is the same — writing can be hard!
There are many challenges from finding the right storyline, to the actual writing (all the intricacies that can entail) and editing, and then finding a publisher or venturing into self-publishing. What I’ve found the greatest challenge, though, is confidence.
I can’t even explain how long I’ve wanted to write a book for, but fear, doubts and excuses kept creeping in and holding me back. I finally hit a point where I just had to start being creative. I enrolled in online writing courses, read books about writing and then finally attended a mini masterclass by one of my favourite Australian authors, Fiona McIntosh. With advice from my teachers and writing friends, I have slowly developed the belief that I can write a book. And, I keep holding as much confidence as I can that I will find a publisher in the near future (ideally, by the end of this year!).
I’m well into the editing stage of my manuscript, but I still have moments of doubt (especially if I feel like writer’s block is setting in!). I sometimes find it hard to tell people I’m writing a book. I feel like it might sound like a big, hopeful dream, one that other people might think is a bit ‘flighty.’ I remember telling a writing teacher this and she said ‘Who cares?!’ I have to remember this attitude and keep it front of mind.
Recently I watched On The Basis of Sex and bloody hell, what a great movie! Ruth Bader Ginsburg is everything I want to be — a go getter, a risk taker, CONFIDENT! I know the movie had a lot of fictional flourishing to it, but the gist was there. The guts she showed, the challenge she took on, and the strength she owned. She faced so many challenges from her husband’s illness, raising children, fighting for her place at university, in the workforce and in the court of law.
I know writing a fiction novel isn’t even in the same ballpark of what RBG did, but I’m taking away her lessons in confidence and tenacity. It also sent me down an online rabbit hole of looking up stories and quotes of other strong women. Below are some of my favourite, that I’m going to print out and read whenever I hear that awful, fearful voice pulling me back.
‘I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.’
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg
‘Everyone’s got some greatness in them… But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it.
You have to believe it.’
– Shonda Rhimes.
‘I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.’
‘I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.’
– Maya Angelou
Keep writing and reading,
Read more of my tips and thoughts about the writing process:
– Every writer needs a tribe
– Do writer’s need super senses?
– What is content marketing?