In the last few months, a lot of my projects have gotten away from me. Some have been finished and I’m satisfied with the work I’ve submitted, while others sit dead either on my computer or in the back of my mind.
It’s easy to get disheartened when you don’t finish a project you loved, or when you finish it, but it gets rejected. I’ve thought a lot about my own writing, feeling stuck and the need to keep trying despite the worry that you’ll never be good enough. There is a great quote by Ira Glass about creativity and how you have phases where your talent and ability do not meet up with your vision for you work. You want your work to be special, but you haven’t quite put all the work in yet for it to be. It simply takes time.
My writing is better than it was five or ten years ago, partially because I’ve worked hard to improve it. I seek out articles, podcasts and books about writing. Recently I worked on a comic script for a contest and though I’ve written a few comic scripts now, I still pulled out examples of scripts from writers I love to see what I could do to make my writing tighter, better, more descriptive. The best writers I know, my favorites, most of them are still trying to grow and learn too.
My best advice for when you are stuck or unable to keep trying, is to find a buddy who is also working to better themselves. Check in with each other. I do this with my closest friend, we actually email on a daily basis (several times a day even) about what we’re working on, what our goals are, and what we are actually getting done.
The best part of this? When one of us fails, the other tells them to pick themselves up and keep trying. We comfort each other. Writing and other creative work can be impossibly isolating, having someone in your corner to tell you to keep going is incredibly helpful.
So ignore that voice in the back of your head that says “Give up.” Find someone you can be accountable to and that will be accountable to you. And keep going.