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When Writing Grows Hard
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 by Cindy Sproles

photo courtesy of pixabay.com and PactoVisualIt’s a given that writing is not easy. Learning the craft, the art, of writing is no different than learning the craft of pottery or forging. It must be learned. Practiced. Honed. Folks don’t just pick up a pen one day and write a best-selling novel.

Who of us has not experienced that one friend or family member who encourages us to find a profession that is viable? I remember, as a high school senior reporting for my “courtesy senior consultation” with the guidance counselor. Rest assured, I was not a 4.0 gpa’er, but I was a solid 3.3 (average) student. The guidance counselor saw my high B’s and low A’s as medial. When I showed up for that senior visit, he laid out a long sheet of paper (this was prior to Excel sheets), took his pen, and scribbled a line of numbers, then said. “93.78 average.”

I smiled. “I’m pleased. That’s an A isn’t it?”

“Barely.” He said. “What are your plans when you graduate?”

“I thought I might go to college and take writing. I want to be a writer.”

“Nope, won’t work. Writers are a dime a dozen and you don’t have the grades for much else. Perhaps you should consider being a secretary at one of the plants.”

I slid my chair from the table and walked out of the room. An A wasn’t good enough? What partial idea I had for a career as a writer, faded away. Graduation happened and I went to college where my English teacher assigned us a term paper. I chose to write on The Appalachian Granny Women – Truth or Superstition. I worked hard, turned my paper in, and when I received a grade, I wished my high school counselor could see it.

A red 99% was circled at the top along with this note. “I have never read a paper that made me want to visit the Appalachians and talk to the people like this one. You have a gift. Consider writing.”

When we choose to be a writer, those who don’t understand the craft tend to be negative. They forget that 80% of all they do requires reading, and those things must be written by someone. Writing is a very viable career. Still, it’s hard.

Why so hard? Well, we have to gain our bloody knees – those times where we face rejection. This is what pushes us to improve the work we do. That improvement brings future success. The sad thing is, few are willing to get those knees scrapped up. Many are enthralled with being a writer yet at the same time, are not willing to put forth the effort to see it through to success due to laziness, disappointment, or worse, entitlement.

Though writing is a viable career, it’s not always lined with dollars, so there are times we must weigh our ultimate goals. If your goal is to write as a hobby, that is fine. Write as a hobby, but that doesn’t change the fact one must continue to learn and hone the craft. Should your ultimate goal be to make writing a career, then once again, hone the craft. Seek out magazine articles to supplement your income as you work toward a book contract.

Writing is an amazing career but you cannot allow yourself to fall into the traps that break a writer. Don’t be afraid tophoto courtesy of pixabay.com and jplenio dream and then follow it.

Remember, whether you are a gas station attendant or a bank cashier, if you have a dream, with hard work and determination, you can achieve that dream. Still, it takes time and practice.

Keep in mind, you don’t know everything. Learning the craft is a years-long process. Spend time with folks you can learn from and listen to their guidance and expertise. Sometimes the most important things learned, are learned by sitting at the feet of those who have come before you. Their wisdom and experience are worth a mint.

When naysayers come around, guard your heart and dream. Many times they hide behind the rouse of “trying to help you.” Believe in yourself and hold the course. As naysayers see your small successes grow into larger ones, their attitudes will change.

Pray over your work. Ask the Lord for confidence, wherewithal, and guidance as you work.

Finally, remember that your dream and success as a writer cannot happen if you never choose to write. You must write.

Writers are a unique bunch. As Christian writers, we feel that higher calling. The craft of writing is a satisfaction and joy, but it is hard. When you feel as though everything is against your writing, remember, only you can make the attitude adjustment to forge ahead. Now, put on your work boots and write. You are, after all, a writer. And for the record. . .I believe in you.


Bookshelf photo courtesy of pixabay.com and PactoVisual

Dream photo courtesy of pixabay.com and jplenio

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Comments

Jim Magruder From Racine, WI At 12/24/2020 2:44:12 PM

Another great blog, Cindy. I love reading your work. Have a blessed Christmas. Hope Tim is doing well.

Reply by: Cindy Sproles

Thank you. Glad they are useful. Tim is doing very well. Cancer free.

Elizabeth H. Van Lie From Montrose, CO At 12/23/2020 2:18:39 PM

Writing is hard, yes. Even answering your message is hard. A simple, "Thanks", does not cover it. I guess I could say writing is a wonderful God-given gift because it lets us love what we do.

Reply by: Cindy Sproles

You write circles around the average author. Keep at it.

Cyn Taylor From Knoxville TN At 12/23/2020 9:51:49 AM

Loved this article, Cindy. Very inspiring. Hope you and yours are doing well. Stay safe, and Merry Christmas. Cyn

Reply by: Cindy Sproles

Thank you very much. Hope it has been useful.

Mountain Breeze Writer


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