Written by Evi Idoghor
If you are a working professional, you are aware that you will face some kind of struggle, either implicitly or explicitly. Such conflicts may arise from within, where you find yourself doubting everything you do, or from without, where everyone else has something negative to say about your work. How do you overcome or persevere in the face of such adversity? That is what I hope to address in today's article, using my writing experience.
It is not easy to break into the writing industry. When you see the greats who have gone before you, you wonder, “When am I going to get to that level?” Despite the fact that I've been doing this for nearly four years, I'm still not where I want to be. It's even more difficult when people who started after you have suddenly blown, leaving you wondering what you're doing wrong. I've listed some of the difficulties I've encountered as a writer below.
1) Discouragement: When I'm writing a story, I get excited because everything seems to flow smoothly until it doesn't. Then I get discouraged, comparing my work to others and thinking I'm not good enough, and I don't see how I'm going to get better in those moments. As a result, my creative process is stalled. And sometimes, I abandon the project entirely.
2) Lengthy Process: Writing requires a significant amount of time, creativity, research, tearing down and starting over, thinking and rethinking, and rewriting. What you thought was a brilliant idea a few months ago turns out to be amateurish as you progress. Thus, you must repeat the process until you are satisfied.
3) The rewards are slow in coming: Because great writing is a time-consuming process (especially when it comes to books), you'll either have to find something else to do in the meantime to supplement your income, or prepare to go hungry for a while. That is why many people advise against writing for a living; if you are not passionate about it, you will give up along the way.
4) Building an audience: This is yet another struggle I've had to deal with over the years. It makes you wonder if what you're writing is worthwhile. People have suggested that I start gossip blogging or focus on pop culture/celebrity gist so that I can grow quickly and start earning money. As appealing as it may sound, I am hesitant to enter such fields because I believe God has called me to be different. As a result, my audience remains small, and I do not earn enough money (from this platform) to keep this website running on a monthly basis.
5) Finding the right agent/publisher to pick up your work: While I haven't had to deal with it yet, it's something I'm afraid of. I'm concerned that they won't think my work is worthy of their representation. I'm worried about getting a good book deal. When I hear about the rejections that writers face on a regular basis, I wonder if it's all worth it.
I know this has been a whine fest, but please bear with me; I know I'm not the only one who feels this way about their job, passion, or purpose. We all hit brick walls along the way, and what distinguishes us from the next person is our ability to persevere in the face of adversity, regardless of the outcome. Listed below is how I overcome these struggles as they emerge.
1) Prayer: When things get tough, I pray to God for assistance. After all, He was the one who granted me this gift. As I write this, the story of Nehemiah comes to mind (Nehemiah 6:9). He decided to rebuild a city after it had been destroyed, and was faced with some opposition. The people opposing him tried to incite fear in him, so he poured out his heart to God, asking for Him to strengthen his hands. it is interesting that he didn’t ask for the opposition to be taken away, rather he asked to receive strength to finish what he started. That is my prayer.
2) Enjoy the process: the process in any sphere of work is there to teach us the ins and outs of whatever we are faced with. It is also there to humble you. If we don’t learn from it, trust it, and enjoy it, then we wouldn’t get what we are supposed to get out of it.
3) Don’t allow criticism get to your heart: The manner in which we accept constructive criticism can either make or break us. If you take it personally, you may become bitter and fail to do a good job, at least not from a good place. However, if you remove the personal aspect and listen to what is being said, it could be the best thing that has ever happened to your career.
4) Don’t quit: Only those who are consistent will receive the reward. You are doing yourself a disservice if you keep starting and stopping. Continue to move even when no one is looking or supporting you; before you know it, you will have become an expert in your field.
5) Believe in your craft: if you do not believe in your craft, how would others get on board?
6) Keep learning: The importance of learning cannot be overstated. As humans, we will never be able to know everything. If you want to be one of the best at what you do, you must be willing to learn from others, both small and great. It is only by continuing to hone your craft and expand your skill sets that you will grow and gain confidence.
7) Work during the times when you are most effective: As a writer, I've discovered that my brain is more open to working in the early hours of the morning. That's when I'm most effective. So, rather than waiting until 10 a.m. to start something meaningful, only to be plagued by a headache or fatigue two hours later, I try to utilize my time in the mornings as much as possible so that I can produce my best work.
8) Be patient: While the results may be slow to appear, they will undoubtedly appear if you remain committed to the process. It is not uncommon for good things to take time. That is actually to your advantage, because you will be able to appreciate the rewards more and teach others more effectively than if you became an overnight sensation, failing to develop the character and expertise required to navigate the complexities that come with success.
Becoming the best at what you do should not be measured by how much money you can make or amass, but rather by how much value you can add to the lives of others. Allow others to see the good work you do, and give all glory to God (Matthew 5:16).
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