Writing 101: Do You Believe?

I'm not one of these people who puts a whole lot of stock in faith, even during the holiday season, but I do know this: you've got to have it to be a writer. So today I've got to ask you: do you believe? 

Gotta Have Faith

In the past, I've said that you have to be a little bit foolish in order to be an author -- and that's still true. But beyond foolishness, you need faith. Once you learn more about the business, and foolishness fades, all you have to rely upon is your faith. Some days, belief is all you will have. That, and a bunch of rejection letters and negative reviews. 

And once all that negativity piles up, it's going to be darned difficult to continue believing in yourself, your writing and your stories. You're going to have days when you're totally convinced you are actually a hack and a failure, that it's all been nothing but a waste of time. Believing in yourself is going to be hard, nigh impossible. 

So find something else to have faith in. I choose Santa Claus. I can't always believe in myself or even in books in general. Maybe spoken word stories are the future, what do I know? But I can believe that if Santa Claus can inspire generosity and kindness and feelings of childlike wonder in everyone (and he does), then I can get another book finished. I have faith that I'll finish -- not that the book will be any good, but dammit it will be done. And that's enough. Just finishing is good enough, because it's quite hard just to do that. I don't have to believe it will be good to get to the end.

And you don't, either. Have faith in something, anything, and maintain it. That will allow you to just keep on writing...and maybe to care a little bit less about the end result.

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