28 July 2011

Writer's Block: Bouncing Back from Failure

Failure Can Bring on Writer’s Block
One of the most devastating ways to wind up with writer’s block is for a published work to fail. This can be as simple as an unpopular blog post or as major as a book that did not sell. Whatever the size of the piece, learning that the writing was not popular can ruin the desire to write more.

Writer’s Block from Simple Sources
Even a one-page article can draw in unwanted criticism. An idea that seemed good upon writing may draw in comments that surprise the writer. With today’s social media commentary available on blogs, a writer can hear some intensely negative statements. Some writing can even start online feuds.

Failure of a Pet Manuscript Can Cause Writer’s Block
Most writers have a favorite story they are passionate about. The story is at their core and they long to share it. If this work is shot down, a writer can feel as though his or her entire career has failed. Pet projects, favorite subjects, core beliefs or any deep-seated subject the author chooses to share may cause a negative effect if it is not well accepted. Coming back from such a blow is difficult, but it is not impossible.

Coming Back from a Failure as a Writer
The real secret to coming back from such a failure is to properly define what a writer is. A writer is someone who writes. Is a writer someone who writes just one book? Perhaps, but, truly, if one book is possible, then so are others. Writing is not something that can be capped or have limits set to it. It is endless. It can be produced continuously. To believe that one book is all a writer is worth is not true. Writers write. Coming back from failure as a writer is simply a matter of volume. If the one mere piece of writing fails, write more. With diligence, the failed book or project will be dwarfed by other writings produced.

Become a Better Writer While Overcoming Writer’s Block
Often times, the failed work is an early work. Beginning writers are rarely great writers. Writing is a skill that takes practice. Each new work is usually better than the last. The lessons learned carry forward, making each new effort an improved product. This is why continuing to write is essential. If you have failed as a writer, the solution is to keep writing, not to quit. Continuing on will hone the skills needed to be a better writer. Stopping will leave you at the skill level at which you quit. If you truly dream of being a writer, continuing onward is the only option.

How to Become a Better Writer
Not all advice is bad advice. Make no mistake; writers get a lot of bad advice about their craft. It falls in the lap of every writer to differentiate between good advice and destructive advice. If your work has failed, your technical skill as a writer may need improvement. Don’t be too prideful to accept instruction. Joining a writing group that gives constructive, positive advice is a good idea. A good writing group will improve the skills of a writer and will make the writer want to write more. If the group does not inspire both, move on to one that does.

The Solution to Writer’s Block Brought on by Failure
The solution is an easy one. Don’t stop. Do not quit because of a failure. Even if the failure is central to your dream of being a writer, realize that writer’s write for their entire lives. A book is just one step along the way. Writing continuously and in volume will have the effect of overcoming any failure of a past work. Bury that failure with a mountain of other works. You can only improve by doing so. While you are burying it, you’ll be writing.

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