inspiration, Life, Musings, Writing

Don’t let yourself give up on your dream

Yesterday I read a blog post from the agent running the competition I’ve just entered. Shes’s received hundreds of submissions. I knew this would be the case but reading it in black and white I felt a moment of deflation. Hundreds. How in the world can I compete with that? How can I stand out amongst them? I hated the feeling that I might never be good enough.

Then today I read Jenny’s amazing post Struggling with Self-esteem and I didn’t feel quite so alone. Jenny talks about how she recently succumbed to the feeling of writer envy – when you see everyone around you having success and you wonder will it ever be your turn? I know this feeling all too well and it’s so easy to let it consume you and make you give up on your dream. That’s why I loved it when Jenny said one of the things she tells herself when she struggles with writer envy or a lack of self-esteem is to never give up on her dream.

I’m telling myself that now. There might be hundreds of other writers competing against me but this isn’t my last shot. I really hope I make it through but if I don’t I can’t let it hold me back. I should never give up on my dream. It feels like a mantra we should all say when we get up in the mornings. When we sit in front of our computers. When we see writers getting agents and deals. Because feeling envious is natural as is feeling impatient for our dream to come true but if we let the self-doubt in, we will never make it happen.

My lovely writer friend Anne Van  taught me an invaluable lesson. Wherever we are on our writing journeys or to be honest wherever we are in life, nobody has it all. We may look on with envy at others but we all have something to bring to the table. Anne is a brilliant writer and recently landed herself an agent. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing this but she recently asked me for some advice on blogging. It amazed me that she needed my advice as she’s so far ahead of me on her writing journey. I envy her. But she taught me that I have something. I have a blog that people are reading. So when I worry about my book submission, I remind myself of this place. And that if I can be (reasonably!) successful in blogging, hopefully I can translate that into success in writing books.

I’m not where I want to be yet but I’m heading that way and I need to push myself forward and not hold myself back.

What I love so much about writing is the friends I’m making. Even if we do suffer from writer envy, I’ve found so many supportive people that want to help and that like to encourage. That’s invaluable. We are all going to struggle in life, writers or not, and we will all have moments where we feel we can’t do what we want to do and envy that those that are already there. But we have to remember they were like us once. No one in life gets off struggle-free. And the more we help each other, the more we can show each other that we can make our dreams come true. It will happen faster and easier to some but as long as we don’t give up, it will happen to us too.

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
Gail Devers




38 thoughts on “Don’t let yourself give up on your dream”

  1. ” It amazed me that she needed my advice as she’s so far ahead of me on her writing journey. I envy her. But she taught me that I have something. I have a blog that people are reading. ”

    In a world where the face of writing is changing, having a successful blog that people continue to visit is big. Why do we put the traditional forms of writing on a higher plane than these newer forms? I know you want a book. I know you want to write fiction. But, if writing is a competition, you are not losing. Hold onto those dreams and keep writing. I know you will find your writing home, just as I know that someday I’ll figure out my life (and then I will probably drop dead, but that’s a whole different story).


  2. Beautiful and fantastic post. Sometimes its difficult to see that even the successful authors had their share of failures, but we can’t compare ourselves, which is difficult, too. How many times have we picked up a book and said “This is terrible! How did this get published? I write better than this.” That author was at the right place, at the right time. We’ll all arrive there…as long as we don’t give up. After all, without dreams, what have we got?

  3. Victoria, when I hit a low point after a rejection or a contest I didn’t place in, I remind myself it’s a choice. Everyday to be a writer. I don’t have to do this. But trying to imagine my life without trying to be a published author. I don’t want to. So I keep at it. You only fail when you stop trying!

    Good luck and keep at it–you have something that is valuable and only you can say it. 🙂

  4. Victoria you’re making me blush. : ) We all have something we can learn from each other. And I love that about the writing community. Writers are the most generous people I know!

  5. Very inspiring post, Victoria. I am going through a similar bout of writer anxiety where I wonder how I can shine just enough to be noticed above all the other great writers out there. I think half of the battle is passion for this life. Not only do I dream about being a novelist, but I love the process of writing and the experience of sharing ideas and meeting other writers.

    I know that giving up on something so vital to my soul, my spiritual health and ultimately my mental and physical health, it would be akin to killing myself.

    That’s what makes it possible to trudge through and manage the ups and downs. I can hear the passion in your voice when you blog about writing, so I believe that you won’t give up, even if things get overwhelmingly tough.

    I wish you luck in the contest!

  6. It can be hard to keep going, but I remind myself that I can’t stop. I can’t stop writing, I can’t stop dreaming, and I can’t stop being someone’s friend.

  7. I think we all have writer envy. But as you said, we all have something to bring to the table. The more I read what others have written, the more I find myself saying “Wow, I wish had written that”. I try to look at that as a sign that I need to read even more, as I look at all those that I admire and realize that, combined, they’re all my inspiration. And that helps me as well. I forget the actual quote, but it’s something like “we are all stars, when one shines brightly it doesn’t take away from the others”. I know I mangled that, but hopefully you get the point. Hang in there, you’re a talented writer!

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