They Must Never Win

There are days when I want to give up. When book sales aren’t what I hoped they would be, when I put my heart and soul into a post and it sinks without trace. When I wonder what’s the point? There are thousands of other authors out there, what makes me any different, what makes me the one who thinks they are going to break through to the point where I can focus on writing as a career?

It’s a tough gig. Despite the support of loved ones, self doubt creeps into my mind at every possible opportunity. The voice snipes and sneers, undermining me at every twist and turn in this journey. You’re no good, you’ll never amount to anything, you’re a fake, a failure, a fraud. Writing can be the loneliest, most frightening place on earth. You put your everything out there and hope for the best.

There are silver strands of hope. An encouraging review, kind comments on your timeline, helpful words from family, friends and strangers. You cling to these like a drowning man clings to a life jacket for there is no alternative but to slip beneath the still, black waters never to resurface again. Just another wannabe, forced back down where he belongs. Ideas above his station, who did he think he was anyway?

I don’t think about this all the time, most days I am upbeat and positive. I’m going through a bit of a purple patch at the minute, if the truth be told. Book 2 has passed the 40,000 word mark and I’ve resurrected my short story as well. I’m averaging over 1,000 words a day and am grateful that the creative juices continue to flow, despite the dark thoughts which occasionally cloud my judgement and thinking. Like all things in life, they pass.

So there is sunshine waiting to peek out from behind the clouds, there is hope. It is that which I must focus on. If you never left the house because you thought it would rain, then you’d never start any journey in life. There are risks, they are part of the package. It’s how you confront and manage those risks that determine where it will all end up. I’m not afraid to face up to these, it’s part of the process .

I’m going to encounter obstacles, hurdles to overcome and barriers to breach. There will be dead ends which will force me to back track to where I started. Frustrating, time consuming and debilitating. There will be signposts which provide false information, fellow travelers will misdirect you, distractions and a million other scenarios will lead you astray, time after time. It’s tough, but it’s life. Stop whining and get on with it, many will say.

So, today, I’ll write, and tomorrow, and the day after that. I’ll not give up, I’ll not back down, I’ll keep hammering on the door until access is permitted. Giving up is not an option no matter how many times I’m ignored, how many times I’m shunned and sent scuttling back to square one. I’ll lose friends and followers alike but I won’t go away, I’ll keep writing my words and hitting the publish button. They are there….if you want them.

Do you feel like that? Have you a passion in life that you feel is stymied? Do you sense there are forces, seen and unseen, working against you? Are you sick and tired of the door being slammed in your face, of blank expressions and uncaring eyes when you tell others of your latest project or achievement. I want you to know, today, that you’re not alone and you must never give up. For that way they win and they must never win.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

54 thoughts on “They Must Never Win

  1. I for one am glad you won’t give up. I’m always eager to read the next thing you write. I certainly feel like giving up often (with several things including writing) but I hope I find the courage like yourself to keep going. You have certainly inspired me not to give up before. Thanks for writing so honestly.

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  2. Keep on keeping on, 11k followers must be there for a reason. I’ve written for 3 million daily, and I’ve had more positive feedback on WordPress for articles that ran to two hundred readers. Nothing ever sinks like a stone; you write, and it’s always interesting to see how people react, or don’t. It’s not about who’s against you, it’s about who’s on your side…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. As I’ve been writing my book, I am floored at the amount of people who have actually finished one. Every single author who sticks to their ideas and completes a book deserves to be celebrated! But there’s a whole lot of books out there and only so much time to read in a day.

    I often find myself wondering this as well… does anyone even care? I’m still trucking along with my book, although my word count is going backwards because I’m removing unnecessary scenes. Hopefully I can soon hand it over to someone who will appreciate my work.
    Also I quit running sometime ago. Maybe it explains my mood being dark as well lately. I’m glad you seem to be doing better.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I finally ran again yesterday for the first time in a long time and came home feeling so much more alive. It reminded me that it’s important to continue caring for myself, even when life gets busy.

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  4. I have sooo been there. Every word you expressed has been exactly what I’ve experienced. What I’ve learned is this….what were my reasons for writing in the first place – to be a writer/author or to be famous. I guess what my heart feels is that I don’t believe that I am an author unless my book is being read.

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  5. I love your writing, Stephen. Genuinely, you have become part of my morning routine. Your gift exceeds word choice– beyond even that of the art of storytelling. You make me care. You make me see the world differently. You make me think. Your words are not left on the page each morning, they are inhaled and exhaled by thousands of people each and every day.

    And though writing many days is a task and the feeling of attempting to meet our reader’s needs is often weighty, you keep showing up. I had a teacher once tell me, “It doesn’t have to be your best. Just keep showing up.” On the other side of that coin, is the fact that sometimes our writing is more for us than for others. For me, it’s how I process. Writing is my absolute best teacher, therapist, and friend.

    At the end of my life, I want to feel like I’ve emptied my soul of all the words—the good ones, the thoughtful ones, and the bad ones, the ones that fall flat—I want to know I left nothing unsaid—even if it wasn’t “said” well.

    I’m rambling (it truly is a problem), but simply, you and your words matter no matter how many people view them, respond to them, or purchase them. Your identity is not tied to a number—you are waaaaaaay more than that.

    Treasuring you!

    Karyn

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Actually people keep on telling me that you cannot survive a career as an artist on almost daily basis
    Somewhere they are correct but I have to keep on reminding myself that if I try hard at it I can earn enough and show those people that I can survive
    But it’s a battle everyday!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rejection is so very soul-crushing; I am quite familiar with the frustration of sending my manuscripts out to agents, publishers and contests only to be rejected by a form letter. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, but I remind myself daily that it is my love of words and that glimmer of hope that my words may have a positive impact on a reader. That glimmer of hope is what keeps me writing. My poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow” has only had a few sales, but I really don’t care about the number of sales as much as I care that my words may have inspired someone to see the world from a different perspective. I hope so. A quote that has inspired me is “Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations and unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do” (Pope John XXIII). These words encourage me when I think about just putting my pen and paper away. Everything is possible as long as we do not quit. Your words inspire me by letting me know I am not alone in feeling frustrated as a writer. Inspiration is often what writing is about. Keep writing! Your blog is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, I really appreciate this post. A couple of weeks ago it was announced that a member of the writers group I started got a seven figure book deal for her first novel. I have been revising my first novel for six years. I don’t resent her at all. She’s a good person and obviously a talented writer but her good fortune sent me into a bout of self doubt (your exact words, “You’re no good, you’ll never amount to anything, you’re a fake…”). So you see, we all go through it. We write because we must and we’re in it together. Let’s keep on keeping on.

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      1. Nah, it wasn’t self pity. It was doubting my ability and commitment to writing. I’m back now though because people like you and my friend are inspirations.

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