Monday, April 06, 2015

Write Anyways

When I was in ninth grade, my English teacher accused me of plagiarism. It seemed my paper was too perfect. Of course, I didn't copy from anyone else. I would never do something like that. But her comment in front of the entire class of my peers could have changed the course of my current career forever. 

Writers won't always get the encouragement they seek. Critics surround us. Friends who tell us we should give up writing because it will take too long to get published. Parents who roll their eyes when they learn how little royalties we might earn for a book deal. Editors who say they want to throw your book against the wall because your structure is all wrong. 

All true stories.

What should keep a writer writing even when the odds are stacked against them?

Someone needs to read your words.

When my first book recently released, I agonized over the numbers. If I didn't sell many, I would be a failure, Maybe I should have taken up another career and leave the writing to the big guys--the authors with the big names and followings. Maybe I'd wasted too many years dabbling and should have kept my day job. 

I'm sure you've told yourself those same lies and more. 

Then it happened.

One reader. Then two. A few more. Each wrote me to tell me how much my story meant to them. Some wrote personal reasons why the story resonated in their lives. 

A line written late at night. Another line written through tears. All pulled from my own heart of experiences.  Each spoke to someone I've never met before.

That's why writers write.

That's why writers write anyways.


deeps said...

and thats a beautiful way

Lin Floyd said...

It is a dilemma. I write for therapy now and teach a class called Healing Words.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Wonderful message, Terry. Good to remember when the doubts plague us.

Saleslady371 said...

We really put ourselves out there, bearing our thoughts and stories, being vulnerable so it means the world when someone says it helped them or put a smile on their face! I remember when my daughter went through hell after her husband left her with a new baby and to this day we haven't had closure, but writers, bloggers who told their stories held us up and said we would make it through. She was in a new town, no church yet and feeling alone, but you always feel God's presence when a writer articulates those same emotions and cheers you on. I will always be grateful for this gift and ask God to use me in return! It's a reward all by itself.

Karen Lange said...

This is true. :) It is quite a journey, isn't it?

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Most people forget that the literary superstars were once in our shoes. I'm glad you were persistent because your book gave me many hours of enjoyment and reminded me I can't always fix situations.

Nicola said...

A lovely, heart-warming post, Terri. Being a teacher, I apologise on behalf of that horrible English teacher! I am appalled. Nevertheless, you made it through all those tough times and look where you are now!! Fantastic!! Many congratulations on your successes so far. May it continue!

Becky L. said...

You never know when someone's heart it touched. Keep writing. Good and not so good criticism keeps us going. Be positive and know it's worth your effort. That is why I k1102eep blogging..

Lynn said...

I try hard to not be attached to the outcome of my writing. It is hard but must stay hopeful that even if it is just read by one person, it is the person God led me to write it for in the first place.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Yes, you are so right. I'm glad you never gave up. You inspire us all!