Before coming on Wattpad, I always took my stories seriously but I never really thought about anything coming from them. Over this past year, I've learned so much about writing and dedication. Dedication. As a teenager, I hated that word with a passion. Dedicate yourself to school. Dedicate yourself to your extracurriculars. It seemed to me that dedication was always the word to use when talking about school or something relating to school. There was another word too. Apply. Apply your talents. Apply your knowledge to this and that. I'm pretty sure the word was on every single one of my tests in high school. Both of these words I have avoided. I never wanted to see them, hear them, or write them. This past year on Wattpad has not only gotten me over my hatred for the words but it's also taught me how important they really are.
I don't think I have ever seen more people dedicated to writing and making it out there in the world than the people I've met on Wattpad. I've met people that have given everything up to become full-time writers! For a person like me, a planner and serious control freak, that's absolutely crazy and also extremely inspiring. The pull to write is so strong that these people can't imagine doing anything else. They have that much to share with the world. Isn't that just amazing? Any time that I have gotten news of a friend getting a book deal or an agent asking around about this person, I get so excited for them. Yes, the agent is a big deal but in all honesty, I'm excited because I know that whatever comes out of the deal is going to be great.
If you've ever gone through PitMad or PitchWars, you know getting noticed is not easy. Before you participate, your writing has to be ready-to-go. So much time is spent on making sure there are no mistakes and that the plot doesn't have holes in it. Not only that, but then there is still the job of making your story stand out from everyone else's story. I'm not talking about this taking days, no, I'm talking about this taking weeks, months! There is a lot of time spent on this. Think of the dedication that takes. All the late nights, the tears, the frustration, the stress (sounds great, right?), they all lead up to the possibility of winning the contest or getting the deal. Nothing is guaranteed, other than the fact that you will be seriously tired at the end. Knowing all of that, would you do it? Personally, I have never gone through a contest or anything like that but I know people who have and it's incredible to watch them spend all this time just for the possibility. It's kind of like you working so hard at your job to be considered for a promotion that you don't even know is coming. Will you ever look back and think it wasn't worth it? Probably not. Hard work pays off. Whether it gets you the promotion or not, you worked hard and you did your best and that's always a good feeling.
Don't think about dedicating yourself to writing or editing or revisions. Think about dedicating yourself to doing your absolute best. Your writing never guarantees happiness and neither do the edits and revisions. What guarantees satisfaction is the knowledge that you did everything you could. Do you ever regret giving it your all? I can't remember a time when I ever felt that it wasn't worth it. Dedicate yourself to doing your best. Make that your number one goal. Trust me, everything will come after that.
None of this is about how well you can write. Wattpad isn't about showcasing the best writers in the world (or if it is, that's seriously messed up). This is about sharing your ideas, being creative, and learning! When I graduated high school, someone told me to go through life as a student. Think of everything as if you're learning it. If you do that, you learn new and possibly more efficient ways of doing things. At the time, I kind of sat there thinking the guy was a learning nut and shook it off. Now that I'm a little older, I can understand what he was saying. Never think you can't do something or that you can't write something. Never give up during the thick of it (and trust me, it can get pretty thick). Those times when you're struggling and you feel like giving up, those are the times that make or break you. Don't let it get the best of you. You grab that thing by the horns and take control. This is your life, your writing.
Now, I can tell you these things and get heated about it but really, this is all your decision. There's a fork in the road at every turn. Which road you take is completely your choice but don't let the decision be based on your insecurities or some other lame excuse. One road might be continuing the story as it is, and the other may be to learn more before you continue. Don't think of it in terms of a setback. Think of it as a chance to improve. If you think you have no room to improve, give yourself a smack on the forehead and think again. Everyone has room to improve. The greatest writers of the world have room to improve. These people are not gods, they are not above everyone else; they are the same as you and me. They were once in the same shoes we are. They chose to learn and improve. That's how they got where they are. Don't let the fame fool you.
For 18 posts, 1 year, I have been posting this Blog of Encouragement. I remember the exact thought I was having when I wrote the first post. One of the first people I met on here had said something about me being encouraging and I was thinking the same about her. I kept thinking, why does it have to be just between us? Everyone needs some encouragement every now and then. I have been doing my best throughout the year to try and speak on different things and keep it going but in doing so, I haven't really allowed myself to do what I've been writing about. Though this blog is ending, I'll always be available to talk. If you need some encouragement, you can post here or PM me and I will always answer. I just need to get to writing and so do you!
"I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places..."
YOU ARE READING
Blog of EncouragementNon-Fiction
This is a current work in progress that I'm doing for the sole purpose of giving other writers some encouragement. Even if you don't write on Wattpad and do it for yourself! Everyone can use some encouragement. I'll be updating it once a week for su...