Every job teaches life lessons and writing is no different. Here are a few things I've learned--and am still learning.
1. Baby steps. Writing a novel can feel like a monumental task when you're staring at a blank page. When I first started writing, my kids were little, and I wrote 1 page a day. It doesn't seem like much, but in less than a year I had a finished novel. Chop big projects down into digestible, bite-sized chunks. What giant task are you avoiding?
2. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Lots of things in life are scary, and for me, the creative process is one of those things. What if it's not there today? What if it's never there again? What if this book tanks my career? I've learned to pray, then plow through the writing. Somehow it'll all work out the way it was meant to. Is fear preventing you from doing something?
3. Persistence pays off. Most writers have garnered enough rejection slips to wallpaper a small office--I'm one of them. You learn writing by doing it, and some of my early stuff? Not so good. Thomas Edison said success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I agree. Have you quit something prematurely?
4. Don't believe your own press. Riding the wave of public opinion is a roller coaster ride I can do without. If I get kudos, pride can rear its ugly head. If my story gets criticized, I question my ability to write. I can learn from the criticism, but in the end, if I wrote the story God gave me and did it to the best of my ability, I did my job. Are you putting too much stock in other peoples' opinions?
5. In everything, balance. Writing is an important part of my life, but so are my boys, my husband, my church, my family, and my friends. It takes constant checking to keep priorities in line, but it's so important. Is your life in balance? Would your family agree?