Posted by on January 24, 2018

It’s another year, and I’m still not any closer to my dream of living the cushy writer’s life that all those full-time writers whine about being so hard. Well, maybe saying I’m not any closer isn’t entirely true. I’m a better writer this year than I was last year (note: this blog post might not completely convey my improvements). 

Still, I stand here at the top of 2018, my pen poised high, ready to write out those resolutions, and I realize something—these hopes and goals are strangely similar to the resolutions I had last year … and the year before that … and the year before that. Ugh. Something has got to change. But what? And how?

The Excuses

I blame my schedule. I’m just too busy. But that’s a big fat excuse. I’ve got some other excuses too.

My spiritual excuse: “I’m putting this all before God and wanting it too much.”

The family one: “I need to focus on my family and not spend all my time writing.”

And then there’s my indignant one: “I hate all the pandering to the public you have to do to sell your books.”

And I could go on.

The Real Problem

But let’s not get distracted. I’m not suggesting ignoring any of my excuses. I could very well put my writing dream before my love for God or my family, and I really do hate marketing myself. Those concerns are all very real, and I need to be aware of them. My problem is not that this stuff is pulling at me. My problem is that my answer to said struggle or issue is to freeze.

I’m a human opossum.

I don’t run from the problem or face it. I lie down and play dead and hope that something will happen to fix it and make it magically better. And when that doesn’t happen, I get discouraged and slink away until I can’t stand it anymore, and I try again.

Of course, sometimes while I’m lying there I make a list or two because a good list has been known to help things, but so far that hasn’t been a solid fix for me.

I think I have stumbled upon something that will help, though.

As I go along

In my second novel (which hasn’t been published yet), one of the characters has an epiphany– the answer he wants so desperately won’t come if he stays put. He must be moving, and then it will come to him as he goes along.

I think it’s the same for me. I must not stop trying. If one thing doesn’t work, then try another. Perhaps these struggles I’m facing are things I’m meant to overcome, not be delivered from. And that can only happen if I don’t give up—if I stay in the fight– if I seek to learn and grow and live through the hard stuff.

So, I’m back again. Here to tell you not to give up. You are not only a warrior. You’re more than warrior. You’re meant to make more of a life. We have much to gain in the fight. Keep moving. Keep looking. And fight on, dear friends. Fight on.

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Mary Beth DahlTerryKarenTammy Van GilsDavid Brannock Recent comment authors
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Emily Golus
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So glad to hear, Mary Beth–keep at it!

David Brannock
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Love your post, Mary Beth! It resonates with me because my word for 2018 is GRIT. [Though being from the coast, I sure wish God had said it was “Grits” :)] Keep at it. You always encourage me with your posts. Hope to see you again in May at Blue Ridge.

Tammy Van Gils
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Tammy Van Gils

Thanks for the encouraging words! I can so relate. This writing thing can be such a struggle at times. Your honesty and perseverance motivate me to hang in there too. Welcome back!

Karen
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Karen

Love this! I beg to be relieved from trials I’m meant to overcome:) You are amazingly more than a warrior, friend! Write on!!!

Terry
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Greetings from a fellow “human opossum.” What a great analogy! I feel that often. Sadly, it seems to happen not just when things are going poorly but when they are going well. Go figure. The fear of success can slap me into freeze mode just as easily as the fear of failure. But, as you say, onward we go! Great post.