10. Finishing

Page 3 of 5 | Unfinished Work | Procrastination | Believe in Yourself | I'm Stuck | Do or Do Not |

Believe in Yourself
Confidence in your own ability and creativity is almost as important as self-discipline. Do you know that I collected rejection slips for six years before I sold my first short story to a small press magazine? What kept me going? It was my determined belief that I could write entertaining, publishable stories — that if I just kept hammering and keeping at it, eventually the world would break down and recognize my genius.

And eventually it happened. That is, I learned the craft and broke through. (We're still working on the genius part.)

The same thing applies to finishing your stories. You have to believe in yourself, in the face of seeming evidence to the contrary. ( Why do I call myself a writer? I can't do this! Whatever shred of creativity I had is gone. I'm washed up before I'm even started. Baloney. I know those voices well. Don't listen to them.)

The funny thing is, it's a lot like what you put your hero through. Knocked down, beaten, without any reasonable cause for hope — in spite of it all, he finds the inner strength to persevere, to come back and win the day. That's what you have to do as a writer.


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