From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chuck Wendig Makes Me Feel Better

I just got off a Skype call involving my roommate and our college friend living elsewhere in the country. ("So in other words, becoming Relief Society president took all the evil over-lord out of your personality"*). We were all fellow English majors and when we happen to catch each other online and fall into a Skype call, the majority of our discussion centers on writing and our current writing woes and current projects. It's always fun, and always motivating.

Anyway, we're all sort of at this end of the beginning phase, where we've all been working at this for a good handful of years now, and we're starting to get a few books and many more rejections under our belts. I'm starting to think of it as the throwing rocks at the brick wall until it crumbles or someone on the other side finally notices and throws you a rope phase. Needless to say, it can be a bit disheartening.

It's nice to have company in this phase, and be able to talk about it and work through it with supportive friends. It's also nice to get a little confirmation and validation from those further along on the writing journey, which brings me to Chuck Wendig.

Chuck is always a hilarious and honest supporter and inspirer of the newbie writer, but his latest blog post was particularly helpful tonight. He talks about how long his own journey has taken him, and how even though he's now being called an "overnight success," that "overnight" only came after 20 years of hard, hard work. He says, "A writing career isn’t a short game — it’s a long con...It takes the time that it takes."

Part of our Skype conversation tonight was about Brandon Sanderson, and how he was on novel #12 before he sold his first novel, which was actually novel #6. We often hear stories like that, about how much endurance you have to have, and I'll admit, those stories scare me. We at the beginning of the journey are thinking, "Oh, yeah, I'll work as long as I have to but that won't be me. It won't take that much time or effort." Well, you know what, it might, but if Brandon Sanderson and Chuck Wendig's final destination is any indication, it will be worth the fight.

I guess I just wanted to say thank you to all the types of support out there, the awesome people in the blogosphere, and writers like Chuck who continually come back into the tunnel with a flashlight and promise us beginners that there really, truly is a very worthwhile light at the end of the tunnel, even if we can't see it just yet.

So keep the words coming! I will too, and I'll see you all in greener pastures soon enough.

Sarah Allen

*Apologies if you didn't get the joke...if you're that interested, this might help you understand a bit more.


  1. It's great to have uplifting friends.

  2. Having someone along for the journey helps, as does those who've been there reaching back with a word of encouragement.

  3. He's absolutely right. Success does not come overnight!

  4. Chuck Wendig wrote some hilarious NaNoWriMo posts last November. I'll check out the one you linked :)

  5. It's good to be aware of the writers who weren't an overnight success (who tend to be the ones who get all the attention).

    Moody Writing

  6. What an inspirational post this was. Thank you for writing it. Funny how people say things like, "it happened overnight" when it really took years.

  7. I saw that post - Chuck Wendig's blog is brilliant and hilarious, as well as brutally honest. It does take years, and the 'overnight successes' we hear about are the exception, not the norm. Sometimes we need to remember this! :)

  8. I think the toughest part of hanging in there is having the support of friends like you have. Without them, after a while, even the best wordsmith can start to feel like a joke. Great that you have such awesome friends!

  9. Chuck's the best. It really is good to have so many writer friends. I've been a bit discouraged lately, but the best thing to do is just keep on writing. Or metaphorically throwing rocks at the brick wall. :)

  10. My favorite Sanderson quote says basically if he still wasn't published or making money writing books, he'd still be writing books.


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