Become a Resilient Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

“The green reed which
bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a
storm.” ~ Confucius
It’s those writers who can bend in the hurricane
force of the change that continue to find success in publishing. This is
different from being tossed about, chasing fads and trends. It’s the ability to
change direction when it makes sense for you. It’s a difficult line to walk, so
today I’m sharing tips to become a resilient writer.
The Resilient Writer:
1. Records Every Idea that Comes to Mind. In this
business, contracts are cancelled and publishing houses change ownership. It’s
important to have other ideas to turn to. That’s tough if we don’t keep a list
of them where we can find them. I have a folder on my laptop for ideas. Every
time I come up with a new one, it gets added to the list. I don’t prejudge an
idea, if it pops into my head I write it down.
2. Reads Deep and Wide. I don’t just stick to a certain
genre. I read articles, blogs, novels, and non-fiction. I read bestsellers and
new indie authors. It’s important to fill our writing well with the experience
of other authors.
3. Never Stops Learning. In this business, no one has ever
arrived. We can’t sit on success and hatch it like an egg. Publishing is a
process—the journey of a lifetime. When a writer quits investing in learning
and growing, he becomes stagnant.
4. Surrounds Herself with Like-minded Writers. There are a
lot of people out there who like to talk about writing. But that doesn’t make
them writers. These are the type of folks who bail when the writing life gets
difficult. What you need is a core group that will challenge you to push
through and keep writing—No Matter What.
5. Develops Alligator Skin. Rejection is part and parcel of
being a writer. We have to learn that rejection of our writing isn’t the same
thing as rejection of us. There are lots of reasons our writing isn’t published,
and it often has nothing to do with how good the writing is.
6. Stay Focused on the Why of Writing. For me, I write
because it’s the way God made me. He created me for this purpose. To deny this
would make as much sense as a dog trying to live life as a dolphin. I write
because God designed me to write.
7. Develops the Art of Patience. With publishing, time moves
slowly. It takes time to master the craft of writing. It also takes a certain
amount of time to hear a yes or no on contracts and article acceptances. Then
it takes time for those projects to come to fruition—online or in print. Every
step of our writing and publishing journey takes time. When we accept this and
learn to live with it, life gets so much easier.
8. Ignores the Negative Voices. We all have negative voices that dog us when we write. Sometimes they’re the voices of a writers group, or a critique partner. Maybe they belong to a well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) family member or friend. Most often they are our own voices, echoing in our minds. Those voices never totally go away. But we can decide if we listen to them or not.
9. Keeps Writing. Real writers write. It’s that simple and
that difficult. For me it boils down to one thing. If I didn’t write, I’d die.
I just don’t have a choice. My advice to you is this. If you can do something
else and be content, then do it.

This is my list to help you become a resilient
writer. I’d love to know what you’d add to it. Be sure to leave your thoughts
in the comments section below. 

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t miss her new book from Worthy Inspired, coming in May WHILE MY SOLDIER SERVES.