Fledgling writers often face a unique struggle, which unfortunately scares many away. Learning how to work on the myriad areas of craft, figuring out what to write about, writing and sending out pitches, receiving numerous rejections, and maintaining both confidence and stamina makes for a very trying environment. Though it can feel like you’re alone amidst a sea of struggles and setbacks, every writer has been where you are. And just like you, every writer has been tempted to give up or give in, but experienced writers will tell you that one of the best ways to combat challenges is to just keep writing.
Here are five reasons new writers should keep going, no matter what setbacks are thrown their way.
1) You’ll only get better
When you’re new to writing, it can be hard to write regularly, especially if you find yourself on the receiving end of more than a few rejection letters. However, continuing to write will do wonders for your skillset. Just from reviewing and refining your projects, you can improve exponentially. If you pay attention to feedback, continuous writing will help you put that feedback into practice, making you better at your craft with each new piece. And if you focus even a small amount of your energy on learning more about writing as you go along, your skills will only increase. Consistent practice may not make you perfect, but it will surely take you to the next level.
2) You’ll develop perseverance
Nothing fosters strong perseverance skills like actively pitching your writing. If you pitch a piece and don’t get a favorable response, use it as a chance to grow. Maybe that short story didn’t have enough character development, or maybe an article you wrote needed more in-depth research. Writing often requires multiple revisions, no matter what the project is.
Having to stick with one piece to revise and refine it, as well as pitching your work to multiple outlets on a regular basis, will help build your stamina. As time goes on, you’ll find that persevering through the rough patches becomes a natural reflex. As a writer, you have to expect that you’ll be knocked down many times, but that doesn’t matter as long as you get up and try again.
3) You’ll develop other skills along the way
Writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We often have to conduct countless types of research, observations, and experiments in order to get out whatever story is resting deep within. While you continue to write, you’ll enhance your analytical and research skills, become a more keen observer, and even collect lots of (totally useful) factoids! Maybe your main character is a philosopher, or you’re dead set on writing about true crime—each new project brings with it an opportunity to research a field that’s entirely new to you. Part of the fun of the craft is investigating how to make stories more effective, and the more you practice the skills related to writing, the more well-rounded a writer you’ll become.
4) You may learn to confront personal issues
Whether you’re writing a memoir, fiction, or just blogging, writing can bring many personal, deep-seated struggles up to the surface. Though it can be painful at times, it’s never a bad idea to explore some of these issues through the safe space of writing. Your fictional characters might take on a fight similar to yours, or you might decide to write a barefaced blog post as a form of catharsis. Either way, you’ll reap the benefits of writing through your struggles. Let your characters (even if that character is you) help heal your soul.
5) The world needs your story
New writers can easily get overwhelmed with the amount of writing there is out there in the world—and on the infinite abyss that is the internet. But don’t let what everyone else is doing deter you from writing your own stories. Collectively, we all contain an infinite number of stories and experiences. Another author may have written something similar to what you want to write about, but that doesn’t mean your story isn’t important or shouldn’t be told. The world needs good stories, no matter the medium or genre. Don’t hesitate to put yours out there.
In reality, writing isn’t easy, but who says it should be? Sometimes it’s all too tempting to give up out of frustration or dissatisfaction. On a good day you may be happy with your work but feel as if you’re writing into the void, and on bad days you may question why you ever wanted to be a writer in the first place. But no matter what challenges you meet, always keep in mind that you embarked on this journey for a reason.
Courtney Lazore is a writer and editor with a passion for languages, history, travel, and the arts. Though she writes across various genres, she’s currently focused on writing her first book about Korean pop music. You can find her at courtneylazore.com or on Twitter.