Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Pippa Bayless has reminded me of an old post by Maggie Stiefvater on listening to yourself and keeping going when the world around you is busy rejecting you. I've read it before, but I love this post. As I've said before, I really do believe that you've got to listen to that little voice inside you that says, go for it! (If that's what it's saying, I mean.) Because there are so many voices that will tell you otherwise, and if you listen to them, you will quit. I can't quite say I've never cried over a rejection, as Maggie claims--there have been some real stingers there, and usually they have been the really nice, almost-there kind. But I do know that people are rejected all the time, yet go on to succeed in that very thing. I was the only second grader specifically banned from chorus, yet as an adult, I've occasionally been asked to sing solos. I frequently got points taken off in elementary school for coloring too hard, for not coloring between the lines, etc. But I've earned money off of my art. And as to listening to that little voice inside, when I started dating my husband, I knew almost instantly that he was "the one." He was graduating from college and getting ready to leave for Germany on a Fulbright, and wouldn't be coming back. Well-meaning people warned me not to get involved, because it wouldn't work out, and I'd only be hurt. But something just told me that it WOULD work out. I listened to that little voice--and yes, he got a clue eventually, and we got married AND went to Germany.

I'm still on my writing journey. I have so many ideas whispering in my head, and I hope that everything I write is better than the thing before it. It's not something I plan to give up on. I do think, though, that "not giving up" can mean being willing to change direction and try something new. To learn new things, try new approaches. So if this is you, and you are listening to that little voice that says, "Go!" then don't be afraid to change, either. Write a book in a different genre. Switch your main character. Study a book that excels in something where you are weak, and try out that author's technique (which is definitely not the same thing as taking their story, just so we're clear). If the door you've been knocking for three years still isn't opening, find a new door.

And now that I'm feeling encouraged again, I'm off to write. :)