“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close
When I began writing for Thin Difference, three years ago to the month, I was also working on my first novel, and I REALLY wanted to be a published author – that was my goal. So I wrote that novel, and I cleaned it up, and I sent it out agents, and I was rejected – over 100 times throughout the course of a year. I would get close. Usually, I would find success in a “partial read” (usually first 50 pages or 3 chapters), but always, I would be told they weren’t interested.
Two years ago, I began my second novel, and accepted that my first would sit somewhere on a shelf or in a drawer. But I wasn’t sad about it; I knew I could do better.
That second novel is my current work in progress, my passion project. I have written many words, deleted just as many, re-wrote tens of thousands. I have accessed levels of creative depletion that I never knew existed. I have found moments of pure inspiration, where I’ve been so deeply in a creative space, that I couldn’t remember what I wrote upon re-reading a chapter. The highs are high, and the lows are low.
But over these course of writing these books, I have learned two great lessons:
- You can’t do it all. You might have to give something up (sometimes it’s something you ALSO love), to get your passion project/creative work done.
- Creative work is still work – and it often feels like it, but you have to show up even when you don’t feel like it.
Creative work is still work – and it often feels like it.Tweet
Three years ago, I was a very different person. I admit, I’m slightly more jaded than I was back then, slightly less optimistic – but I’m also more focused, and understand that, with enough hard work, you can accomplish what you dream of accomplishing.
Sadly, this will be my last article for Thin Difference. In an effort to take my own advice, I’ve decided it’s time to step back and hope that a new voice will enter and share their experiences/advice. I am narrowing my focus, planning to get my second book whipped into shape, and ready to submit to agents in the next few months.
Thank you for reading and engaging over the years, and thank you to Jon for allowing me to have this space to share. I hope to report happy publishing news in the future!
Heidi is an inspiration and has been for the past three years. She has been honest and practical in her insights and challenges encountered. We are very grateful that she shared her experiences here, and we are excited to see her writing continue to unfold in beautiful and meaningful ways! Thank you, Heidi, and we wish you the best in your work.