We have all felt disheartened as writers. It can manifest itself in a variety of forms. Lack of impetus, illness, stress, unrealistic comparisons, self expectations or stumbling over a particular section in a writing project. Some call it writers block. In truth it is just life.
Firstly, don’t beat yourself up, you are not alone. Every writer, whether novice or any of the top 100 authors, have doubts about what they are writing. We question ourselves – is it good enough, over and over. This can only spiral us downward into self-doubt. There are ways to give yourself a pick you up. I hope these help.
1. Focus on enjoying telling your stories. Do it to the best of your ability.
2. Remember you are building an inventory of your writing but also learning your craft.
3. Lessen your expectations, don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes, we all want a certain quality to our work, but with patience it will come. There is no quick fix.
4. Don’t compare another writer’s finished work against your in process drafts. You have no idea how many changes they made.
5. Remember you get to rule over your own creative process. You choose, shape, mold, and create whatever you want.
6, Your words will, in time, sway minds, move hearts, and touch the lives of dozens of people you will never meet in person.
7. Your words, your stories are your legacy.
8. Do not take rejection personally. Think of it as a learning tool.
9. Take a long-term view of your writing career – no-one is ever an overnight success.
10. Participate in supportive writer groups. Share your work with encouraging friends.
What have you found works for you when you are feeling disheartened?
I want to thank Stacy at http://onegirlriot.com for kindly awarding me this Lighthouse Award and her kind words about my blog. There are a few rules so I’ll get right to it.
Display the award certificate on your blog. Check
Inform your nominees of their award nominations. Check
Share three ways that you like to help other people. Check
There is no limit to the number of people you can nominate. Check
Don’t forget to have fun!
How I like to help others:
1. To encourage writers to pursue their writing in any way that works for them. There is no ‘right or wrong’ method, just your own.
2. Share my writing journey and experiences with as many people as possible in the hope it will enlighten them. The main aim of my blog!
3. To be a true friend and follow through with my promises and commitments.
Are you erroneously thinking that the world owes you something? Are you looking to others to do something for you rather than focusing on what you can do for yourself?
It is very common for people to feel that those in authority or those that are successful owe them something. This kind of thinking can be seen in many situations. A good, but extreme, example would be the beggar in the street who feels that because you are driving a nice car you should give him something for a meal.
Coming closer to many people’s experience, another example would be the relative who feels that because you are well educated and have a good job you should take over his responsibility of seeing one or two of his children through school. Then there is the employee that feels entitled to a promotion because they have served long in an organization.
Entitlement mentality – no ones owes you anything
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of the examples I have given. But the fact is that even if I had a billion dollars it would be totally up to me to decide whether to give the beggar the money or whether to sponsor those children through school. Similarly if I were the owner of the company it would be totally up to me to decide whether to promote you based on your long service.
The bottom line is that whatever decision I would make in all these cases would be correct. I may be compelled to help you by my spiritual convictions and beliefs, but even that would be up to me, not you. The fact is that, apart from very few very specific cases, no one is entitled to anything from anyone.
Our dependence on the donor community is one area where we often feel entitled to the point of irrationality. We expect donors to give us resources to take care of many of our problems. But are we trying to raise these resources ourselves? Is there no form of enterprise we can undertake that would give us the required resources? Yes, the donors have money, but it’s their money. They are free to give it to whoever they please. What is required is not always more donor funding, what is required is more self reliance and initiative.
Entitlement mentality – you owe it to yourself
The only person that is responsible for getting you what you want in life is yourself. The entitlement mentality of thinking someone owes you something is one that you should not have.
The catchphrase on television these days seems to be “government should do something about it.” The government is called upon to take care of all manner of problems and whilst some are truly its responsibility, the majority are not. The majority are the individual and community’s responsibility.
However, the politicians don’t make it easy on themselves because rather than telling people that they are capable in one way or another of solving most of their own problems, they prefer to make huge promises they cannot deliver on even if they had the capability.
Entitlement mentality – a hard lesson
The problem of the entitlement mentality is so far reaching that even countries like the United States are facing massive problems because of it. Their health-care and pension systems are under enormous strain. They simply cannot afford to pay for all the people that are on these programmes. So much so that Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki have written about it in their book “Why We Want You to be Rich.”
In this book they say: “The best way to solve the problem of bad financial results is to change our thoughts…That means losing the entitlement mentality…If we do not stop expecting the government to take care of us, we will continue to have the same results – a bankrupt nation filled with well-educated but financially needy people.”
The fact that a country as developed as the US should fall into such a trap of promising its citizens it will take care of them in their old age and when they need health care and failing to deliver on it should be a lesson to every country and individual in the world.
You cannot depend on the government to take care of your every need. It is far better to empower yourself and to be able to take care of yourself in every way possible. But that is hardly what the politicians, and even the people, want to hear. Everyone wants an easy way out. Everyone wants someone else to take care of them and sort out their problems. A change of thinking is needed at all levels.
Entitlement mentality – get financially literate
In no single area is such a change of thinking required as in the area of financial literacy. The ability to make money and to make it work for you is an ability that will do you a world of good. Read the right books on financial literacy. Do a short course in accounting or investing or anything else around the subject. Attend seminars and workshops. Start a small business and learn how to manage and grow a business.
Do not leave your financial future in uncertain hands by trusting pension schemes, health schemes and a whole lot of other schemes that are not in your control. Just do something different from everyone else because, as Albert Einstein said, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Entitlement mentality – conclusion
The truth of it is that you are a person with everything to offer your country and the world. Yes there are problems out there, but there are also plenty of opportunities. Why are some succeeding in the same environment? What’s to stop you from succeeding?
Realize that you alone have ultimate power over your future and what happens or doesn’t happen to you. This should be a liberating and empowering thing. Take hold of it and use it well. The world owes you nothing. Don’t gamble your life away with the entitlement mentality.
This word describes my parents love for their children and grandchildren perfectly. I lost my Father ten years ago and my Mother on 5th September, 2013. Their legacy of unconditional love, will live on in us all as we love and support each other at this devastating time. Their love for each other showed in everything they did. Together now for eternity.
We may not have been monetarily rich as a family but we never felt disadvantaged or poor as love and encouragement was limitless in our lives as we grew into caring, respectful adults. In turn we are showing our children the same fierce devotion to make them loving, caring people.
Night-night and God bless to the most wonderful parents anyone could ever wish for.
Callow – definition: immature : lacking experience or judgment
Life is a steep learning curve. From our first steps to reading and writing to more complicated skills. We are constantly learning something. The secret to an active old age is, more than likely, continuing to explore, investigate and enjoy new experiences and skills. As many of you know I came to writing later in life and learning the ropes has been an enlightening road. It infused me with an energy I had been lacking for a long time. When we are younger everything is an adventure, unfortunately somewhere along the way we lose that feeling, unless we are lucky to find something that triggers it again.
When I observe younger people striving to make their way in the world, I am always surprised how they are perceived and treated. As older adults do we forget how we struggled? How many paths lay before us? What influenced us? How hard life seemed? How any advice given was ‘boring’? How every day was full of new possibilities that were just waiting for us?
So maybe we should give the younger generation some slack and encourage them a bit more? We can all site the ‘bad teenagers’ but they are the minority, most are trying to grow up and understand themselves.
What are your views?
Is growing up harder now? Is peer pressure more violent? Will being an individual automatically ostracize you from inclusion into the group?
Have you found new skills and experiences that have enhanced your life?