Being a writer is hard. There is so much expectation built into the concept of being a writer, much less each individual story. As such, we're geared toward pushing for getting that agent, making that sale, becoming the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. This way of thinking creates a population of stressed out writers always asking that question "AM I CRAZY?"
There is a way out--no, not that way!
First a little background, it will help follow my thought process (I promise). I'm a book and knowledge junkie. I read lots of books on every subject, but I do focus on personal development and spirituality. From the guy sharing secrets to becoming a millionaire to the Swami helping you get a grip on your karma, there is a common message:
DON'T BECOME ATTACHED TO THE OUTCOME, FOCUS INSTEAD ON THE ACTIVITY
Being a writer isn't about the sale, or the movie based on your book, or landing an agent. It's about the activity and practice of being a writer. Life is a journey, not a destination. So is writing. A writer is someone who writes everyday (or as close to it as possible) because they love to write. They constantly educate themselves, read, and write some more. It is the actual activity of writing that makes us happy. When we focus on other people's success and gauge or work's success or failure on them, that's we get that nasty little bug called "AMICRAZY."
When you get three rejections in one week, you also may ask yourself AM I CRAZY? I know, I've been there, but then I remember I write because its compulsive, therapeutic, and it keeps me off the mean streets of Lake Travis (sarcasm noted for those of you who don't know Lake Travis). Plus, writing is subjective. I'm glad they rejected me. I probably wasn't the right fit. My story belonged somewhere else. Or maybe I just needed someone else to tell me, "nice try but you still need a little something to make it great." That's how I learn. That's how I grow as a writer. Believe me, my writing has improved ten fold in the past year from understanding what I was doing wrong just as much as what I am doing right.
So, don't worry about when you finish. If you have a deadline, don't focus on the due date, focus on the daily activity of writing and you'll get there. Don't worry if your book isn't #1 or if you aren't the most talented writer. There are a lot of talented people standing by, scratching their heads, thinking "Am I crazy?" Focus on the activity and you'll pass them up. When you pass them, and success starts to cloud your judgement, remember:
DO NOT BECOME ATTACHED TO THE OUTCOME--FOCUS ON THE ACTIVITY!