Tips For Aspiring Authors [#14] On Your Darkest Days, Be Encouraged

Yes, those of us who seemingly have “made it”, still have days when the towel is on the verge of being thrown in—thrown hard—in a dusty corner.

This morning I was at my desk working on blog posts for April when Donald Lawrence’s song Encourage Yourself came on Pandora Radio. I had an immediate meltdown.

(I’m sharing this because I want to help someone as well as minister to myself.)

There are times on this writing journey when I feel lonely. Some days I feel abandoned. I mean, why hasn’t my writing career taken off? I write the stories God gives me, yet, here I am grinding. I was laid off from my job almost two years ago. The plan was to write fulltime from home, you know, do the freelance thing. That’s how professional writers support themselves, right? Well, at the same time, millions of other writers were being laid off and all had the same plan. Assignment desks soon dried up, leaving the wannabe professional writer to do what?

There are days I feel like giving up, never to write again—but that’s ludicrous.

Here’s my rationale, although laughable. At this point, I’m seven years into this writing thing, but am I successful? I mean really? Sure you say, but Daphine, you’re published and besides, it’s your passion. I say to that, you don’t know the times I’ve maxed out a credit card to do all I can for my “passion” only to not make enough money to pay back the bill when I’ve finished a “big” event. I’m stuck with a bill month after month with books still in the garage—books that haven’t sold. Visa doesn’t care what my passion is. They want their money, month after freaking month. It doesn’t really matter how much I put on my I’m-a-published-author hat.

There’s a certain pain I feel when I’ve had flyers printed, driven many miles, advertised on social media outlets, done blog tours, held radio interviews, told everyone to tell their mamas and their mama’s mama that I’m coming to town, only to have one or two people show up to an event. That hurts. It hurts badly. It’s actually painful and sometimes embarrassing.

I know, I know. I can’t control what people do and as long as someone shows, it is still a success, right? Maybe I encouraged the one person who showed. Maybe my good attitude encouraged the workers at the venue to pursue their passion. Who knows?

When I see interviews from the flavor-of-the-day author on TV, they don’t tell me how hard it was to get where they are today—but I think I know. They don’t tell me about the days when they had a meltdown at the mailbox or in front of their computer after receiving a rejection letter. They don’t tell me about the looks their family members give them as they slave away at the computer over their next story that is going to “make it.” I don’t know their whole story, but I’d venture to say it’s similar to mine. All I see is their new multimillion dollar publishing/movie deal. I know it’s not easy to get there.

God gave you the talent, seek his face when you feel like giving up.

I’m here to tell you there are days and months when I can’t see what God sees in me. I’m not supposed to. All I can do is what he has given me the talent and desire to do and that is write…and keep on writing.

When the song, Encourage Yourself came on, I went into tearful praise. I stood in front of the mirror and told the makeupless woman with the red nose to encourage herself.

I told that woman looking back at me to be encouraged—to stay encouraged. I told her she was going to make it because she will. I told her to look up, not down…not to be discouraged, but to be encouraged. I told her she can be encouraged and that God was there to help, just as he’s always been. After all, he’s the one who gave her the talent, the “mad skills” people say she has.

So, she’s going to be encouraged.

I really believe she’s going to make it; no matter how bleak things look some days. It doesn’t matter when the distributor sends unsold books back to her front door. The next time they return an entire case of books, she won’t cry. The next time, she receives a rejection letter, she’ll take it with a grain of salt and keep going. The next time the numbers don’t look like she’d like them to look, she’ll keep on pushing until they blow her mind.

She’s going to make it. I know she will.

Matthew 17:20 20 He replied, Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Be blessed.


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6 Responses to Tips For Aspiring Authors [#14] On Your Darkest Days, Be Encouraged

  1. Cherlisa says:

    Hang in there. You are going to make it because God said so. He has a plan of greatness for you and your life. Remember that when times get tough and even when they aren’t so tough. Who knows, I may need you to remind me of these words as I continue on this journey. As a matter of fact, I’m certain I will. 🙂 Keep your head up sister.

  2. Angela Williams says:

    I enjoyed this!

  3. OMG! I don’t what to say except thank you. Your words were a blessing to me! OMG…was it a testimony that I needed to hear. I have been working on my book When It Rains, It Pours. However, God has shown me another gift…the gift of poetry. I never knew…it flows like water. One of my poems just won a contest. I, too, am about to stop working. I am scared too death….thank you thank you.

    • Daphine says:

      Some days it feels like a wilderness experience. I had one of those days today. Keep pushing forward. It’s all we can do. Someone needs to read what we’ve written.

  4. Traci Williams says:

    It’s hard to stay encouraged, but you will accomplish all God has set out for you in his timing. I really needed to read this right at this very moment. It’s helped me with things in addition to my writing.

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