What Kind Of Faith Do Writers Need?
That headline isn’t religious in nature. This isn’t an essay about why writers want or need G-d in their lives.
No, this is about the need to trust our writing and to trust ourselves. It is about looking back at the conversation with The Shmata Queen about being a writer and having faith that people want to read these words.
It is my not giving in to the internal editor who whispers in my ear that the words on the page are pathetic and that others are better. And it is about giving myself permission to suck, to fail, to strike out because sometimes you don’t have it.
Sometimes the words that answer your call are not the words you want, need or wish for. Sometimes they are inferior and you are embarrassed because you feel like you have fallen short.
Faith is needed. Faith is necessary. Faith is critical because it is what helps you try again. It is what helps you believe that maybe your first, second, third or 198th try is going to be magical.
Writing Is Hard
Sometimes my children ask me if I think writing is easy and I chuckle because it is one of the hardest things I do. My daughter tells me I shouldn’t lie to her because she says she has seen me write…a lot.
It is true. I have and I do.
I write more than most.
Some of it is because it is my job and some of it is because writing is my sanctuary.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy or that I don’t find it difficult. There are many moments when I curse the words I see on screen and wonder why I don’t hit more home runs.
Sometimes I think about quitting. Sometimes I think about just walking away from it all because I am tired of grinding it out but then there are moments where those words just roll and I know I am looking at something magical.
They don’t come as frequently as I want or wish they would but they come and they happen because of faith and effort.
Do The Work
Writers need more than faith. They need more than a thick skin and a willingness to forget the times they failed.
They need to remember some writers will get lucky and early in their careers they’ll produce something that people love, something that receives accolades and acclaim.
But you cannot, mustn’t compare yourself to them because if you really want to earn those accolades you need to do it more than once.
Anyone can hit a bit fat fastball that is lobbed over the plate once, but the writer who can do it more than once is something special. And if you want to be special you have to be willing to do the work.
You have to be willing to pound on the keyboard and t0 read and to do it all over and over again.
It has All Been Said Before
It has been said before and more than once. People will tell you this over and over again. More than a few will try to convince you to give up, they’ll tell you only a few manage to climb out of the pit and away from the masses.
If you listen to them you might as well give up now because you’ll be done before you get started.
So what if it Â has all been said before, no one has ever said it as you do and you won’t know until you try if people like your way of saying it.
Sometimes you have to tell that little voice to stick it. Sometimes you just need to have faith.