Ledges perfect to climb up and then stand and ponder the “why” of my existence in the writing universe.
And yes, these ledges are ideal to throw myself off of when my hopes are dashed, my dreams seem nothing more than taunting specters, and my efforts seem … wasted.
(I need to add music to this blog so I can cue the appropriate background music, don’tcha think?)
I’ve often said that as a writer I need to have the hide of an armadillo. Impenetrable. Insensitive. And yet, too often I feel like a naked mole rat: oh-so-exposed to whatever reactions people have to my writing.
And yet there are times that 2012 feels like a nightmare waiting to play across the days and nights of my life for 366 days.
I know I need to toughen up — to be an armadillo. Things like reviews or Klout or how many Twitter followers I have or how many Amazon5 star ratings I get (or don’t get) shouldn’t determine whether I climb back up on a ledge.
Or jump off.
I’ve talked about this with other writers and with several of my mentors. Earlier this week, I confessed a few days of ledge-sitting to one of my mentors, author Susan May Warren. She listened, reassuring me that I could do this (“this” being write book #2.)
She also said I needed to wear blinders. Once again, she was speaking figuratively. (I hope.) Avoiding the ledges requires focus. Not on others’ opinions. Or others’ successes. Not even on myself. She reminded me to rest in the knowledge of who I am. He who created me is also the One who enables me to write.
As another mentor, author Rachel Hauck, shared in an email:
This is part of the writer’s life — gaining confidence from book to book. But you’re trying to figure out how to do this in your own strength. This is God’s deal, Beth. Either He’s called you or not. He will confirm the work of your hands (Psalm 90:17)
You know the funny thing? I’m learning I’m not the main factor in my success.
In Your Words: I’d love to hear your thoughts on achieving success — in the writing world or any other area of your life.
Two other writing friends blogged about related topics this week. Author Katie Ganshert wrote about The Ultimate Goal and author Jody Hedlund wrote about the inevitable identity crisis that occurs after publication.