How do you stay sane when the burning need to get published is eating away at your soul? When what you think is your best work is rejected all around?
Bestselling author Robin LaFevers, whose series about teen assassin nuns (Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph), has garnered rave reviews, has a lot to say about the craft and pursuit of writing.
Here are a few of her observations, which silenced a room full of people and made us all think about our selves and our creative obligations to ourselves:
You focus on the work. It's your love of the work that will see you through. It will see you through the stress, the ups and downs of your career.
All the things you've told herself re: why you're here, are lies. We're good at telling ourselves lies, in order to get to the right path.
Something inside you wants to be heard. That voiceless part of you has something to say.
I was one of those people who never understood the fear of success. When this recent dose of success landed in my lap, though, I pretty much freaked the heck out. The first thing I did was panic that I wouldn't match the [initial] success with my second book.
My writing cave: I will close the door, and shut out the voices. Thinking only of the story, and the characters, and write the truest story I know how to tell.
Writing's not comfy, safe, or about staying invisible. It's really scary to give voice to our deepest thoughts and feelings. Our one concern is finding our truest voice, to connect to those readers who want to hear what we truly what we have to say.
Writing for kids is more important than writing for adults. Our childhood books mean more to us than any books we read as adults. We are helping create a database for kids - show them all the different colors that joy can come in. Helping them navigate this terrifying thing called Life.
Sometimes when you have nothing left to lose, you find the courage to write without holding back.
Explore yourself. What are your issues? The ones we don't even share with our therapists. Those are the places where your most powerful writing will come from.
Writing is a long, hard journey to reclaim our voiceless selves. What we have to say matters.