I am at a writer's conference in the Phoenix area. It got up to 106 degrees here today. Yeouch. Thankfully, the conference center thermostat seems to be set at about 50 degrees, so I'm cold more often than hot.
I love writer's conferences. I'm surrounded by people who do what I do, who understand the joys and pains of writing, and creating, and receiving looks of skepticism when they admit to people that they write stories. Writers are amazing.
The keynote speaker at the conference, Martine Leavitt, discussed the importance of perseverance. She referred to books, scientific studies, and her own experience as a writer and a teacher of writers. To succeed in the writing world, and any endeavor, you have to keep moving forward even when you're getting nothing but push-back from the world and people around you. I liked that. She also told us to wake up at 5:00 AM to write, every day. I didn't like that. But I'm willing to give it a try.
Today, at this amazing conference surrounded by people like me, I'm actually really struggling with the fourth item on Martine's "secret of success" list. Hope. I don't know if it's just a bad day, if it's mental exhaustion or physical exhaustion, but I feel really done in. I'm tired. I feel like a fraud. I don't think my writing is good enough. Really, I've had one of those weeks where these feelings have just been building on top of each other.
It's like someone keeps handing me bricks, and each one has a label. "You need more direction in this story." "You need to be a better mom and not write so much." "You've got a lot of editing to do if this story is going to work." "Your character has no direction." "You got this detail wrong." "You need to be healthier." Most of these bricks, really, I'm making for myself. No one is really being mean to me. But I just feel discouraged. I could carry one or two of these bricks for a while until I fixed the problem and found a way to put them down again, but I feel like I've got a bag full.
Thank goodness for supportive friends and a loving spouse. It would be a really, really hard week without them.
But really, if you wonder what creative types are like, this sort of thing happens to us a lot. I see it all the time in my friends' newsfeeds. They feel discouraged, down-trodden, exhausted, and like they aren't good enough to be creating their art/books/music. I read a study that said creative people are 3 times more likely to struggle with depression than people in other industries. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I don't know.
But if you know someone who is extra creative, who puts time and energy into making something, tell them how awesome they are. They could probably use the boost in confidence. :-)
And I'll be fine. I just need to get over this hump and get back to work. Y'all have a great day, and do something you love!
I write clean and sweet Historical Romance Novels, I live in the desert, I'm a mom of four, madly in love with my husband, and I love to read!
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