I love attending writer’s conferences. It’s wonderful to be around others who also hear voices in their heads, ha!
You leave the conference inspired, ready-to-go, happy to have met other writers. You’re all fired up to write, then you come home and BAM – reality hits! The cursor relentlessly blinks on that blank page. Your family needs your attention, the laundry needs to be done, and oh, you’ve received a rough critique of your work and there’s no way you’re ever going to be published. You might as well give up!
See how easy it is to get into a negative cycle?
On my last blog, I talked about breaking the cycle of negativity and self-doubt, and about putting God first in all I do, so I could walk with confidence and honor Him with my life and with my calling.
What do you do next, when negativity strikes? Conventional wisdom says, you get up the next day, dust yourself off, and start again. Really? I’m tired of starting again and again, and getting nowhere. I’m not strong enough for this. No way! Maybe I should just make popcorn and binge watch something on Netflix.
Oops! There I go again….getting caught up in the cycle of negativity and self-doubt. See how it creeps in so easily?
It’s time to break the cycle. Yes, it’s hard. It’s very hard. I’m struggling with it now. But this is where you have to pay attention and be aware of when the negativity cycle pays a visit.
As mentioned in my previous post, be prayerful. Spend time with God. Talk to a friend. Let your frustrations out, then remember to return the favor when your friend needs you!
We need to encourage one another. Build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
Yeah, this all sounds so cliche. And here comes the frustration once again.
But guess what? Most cliches are true.
We have to get up each morning and try again. We have to celebrate the small victories. We need to lean on friends once in a while (something I’m terrible at doing).
Sometimes, we need to take a break. Only if we make sure it’s a refreshing break, not an “I quit” break.
Finally, always, always, put God first. You can yell at him, you can cry and shake your fist. Then be thankful. Come to him with praise and gratitude, and pick yourself up, walk with confidence and try again.
Pretty soon, as the days pile up behind you, and you’ve found the courage to pick yourself up again and again, you’ll see progress. There will be more good days than not.
I’m hoping and praying through Christ’s strength that this is true, and that cycles of self-doubt will lessen the more I take action and move forward. This is nothing new, but apparently, I need the reminder.
You really do have to put one foot in front of the other. You’ll need to be intentional, purposeful and disciplined. But you won’t be alone as you take these steps, even small ones.
Believe me, I’m taking baby steps as well. I have a goal of where I want to be in a year. And I certainly don’t want to be where I was a few weeks ago — okay, even yesterday.
Psalm 40:2 (NLT) is good to remember: “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”
So, walk on my friends. We can do it, one step at a time.
Stay strong. Keep going. You’re not alone.
Please share your tips on how you keep going when you face obstacles or when you’re discouraged.
Let’s encourage one another.