This blog post is for two types of people:
1- Those who want to write but are paralyzed at the thought of beginning their project.
2- Those who start writing but their passion, ambition and ideas fizzle out midway through their project.
Both types need to infuse their writing life with audacity and tenacity.
Audacity brings you to the page – it is the boldness, the fearlessness with which you begin and approach your writing. Tenacity is the stick-to-itivity that makes you slog at it, day after day, week after week – for most of us, year after year. Audacity is nothing if you cannot see your writing project through to its conclusion. Tenacity is nothing if you do not even have the courage to begin. Both are critical to a writer’s success.
Photo credit: postiveinspirationalquotes.com
Here are seven ways scribes can bring audacity and tenacity into their lives and approach their writing with courage and persistence.
1) The Burning Desire to Write:
It’s simple: If you can’t bring yourself to begin writing, you don’t want it enough. If you’ve begun but can’t seem to see it through to completion, you still don’t want it enough. Every serious writer must cultivate that burning desire to write. And that comes through exuding positivity and confidence for it. Setting your hands to the keyboard comes later – first and foremost, it is a matter of orienting your mindset towards total commitment to your work. Assess your passion.
2) Take Small Steps:
Writing can be overwhelming. The thought of putting out a 350-page manuscript or compiling a 60-plus collection of poems can be disheartening and torpefy most writers. A good rule of thumb is to break your writing into smaller steps that can be done piecemeal. Beginning your project and completing it can be seen as bringing yourself to the desk one day, writing a line the next day, and working in increments from there, one page, one scene, one chapter at a time. This makes it more manageable and less scary.
3) Re-invent Your Relationship With Writing:
A lot of times we balk at approaching our writing and sticking with it because our relationship with our project has weakened. There can be any number of reasons for it: we are being challenged by it, it has become stale, we are burnt out, yada yada yada. The key is to keep your relationship with your writing healthy by taking a break from it. Give yourself time to unpick the knots rather than becoming frustrated and consigning it to the trash folder. Acknowledge the stress of writing but don’t let it govern you.
4) Be A Risk-Taker:
Audacious and tenacious writers do not accept the limitations of their environment. They do not make excuses to put off that which daunts them. They are risk-takers. To begin an endeavour knowing full well that even after all the hard work they put into it, it may meet with rejection takes a lot of heart. They begin in boldness and then do whatever it takes to see their writing through to the end. They are not afraid to experiment with their story or take a poem in a new direction and are open to expanding their worldview.
5) Silence the Inner Censor:
One of the best ways I know of strangling the voice inside my head that causes me to doubt and second-guess myself is to stay motivated by reading success stories of writers. I can begin and continue with my writing knowing that many seasoned and accomplished writers were standing in the same place where I find myself, fearful and unsure of themselves and they made it through. The fear of embarking on a fresh writing project assails every writer whether they have one novel under their belt or several novels. Audacity and tenacity comes from self-belief.
6) Be Patient:
It may seem like a simple bit of advice but I cannot stress this enough. So many writers give up because they do not have the patience to stick through the long process of writing and throw down their pen at the first hurdle along the way. Writing is an incremental process. There are days when you seem to have no ideas and it can seem tortuous. Know that even when you feel that your efforts are not yielding any immediate results, your subconscious is working on it and sooner or later, if you stick with it, a breakthrough will happen.
7) No Such Thing As Failure
As a writer, you need to eliminate the word ‘failure’ from your vocabulary. Failure happens only if you give up and let it happen. It is something within your control. If JK Rowling or Stephen King had considered themselves failures at the first rejection and never written again, we would have been deprived off some great stories. Strike out the option of giving up. When you think you’re at the end of your tether and you are close to folding in, give it one more shot.
Hope this helps, writers. Be audacious, be tenacious. Until next time! 🙂