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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Donít Look Back (04/19/12)

TITLE: Going Forward
By Susan Hourigan


Going Forward
I sat despondently at my computer, wondering if I would ever make it as a writer. Why couldnít I come to a decision of which writing genre I wanted to follow. Do I want to specialise? Am I qualified to do this? My indecision was making me miserable, not to mention broke. Over the years I had spent hundreds of dollars buying books and doing self learning courses, and yet I still couldnít sit down and write on a regular basis. Was it just writerís block or was it fear of failure? Feeling dejected and alone, I prayed. I begged God to tell me what to do, ďPlease I begged, just tell me what type of writer you want me to be and then Iíll knowĒ. Right away the answer was clear. Praying that way wasnít going to work; God has ways of making us take responsibility for our actions and our inactions. The prayer was my way of trying to get out of making my own decision just in case I failed? At this point it was now or never to make up my mind and take the plunge. Anxiously I wrote down my goals all the while telling myself donít look back at what I havenít achieved, just keep my mind focused on what I want to achieve. Going forward was challenging to begin with and the hard work that a writer has to do come as a shock to me. Sourcing out magazines to submit work to and dealing with the rejection emails that started to come in made me feel rather out of my league. I found myself thinking that maybe this wasnít for me, maybe I should be a fiction writer, or maybe I should try other forms of writing like poetry. The prayer went out again and again I knew the answer, donít look back, stick with it and work hard for what you want out of this writing journey. Telling myself this over and over I sat down at the computer and began the work. Re write after rewrite until the words began to make sense, query letters sent out and recorded, reading until my eyes were tired and my mind was full. Each night after work I would come home and sit at the computer, after all success doesnít happen simply by wanting it to you have to work for it. As the weeks went by my shyness to interact with others lessened and I tentatively joined online and local writing groups and started to get involved with other writers. Without realising it I had truly begun living my dream, a dream in which I discovered that I had many talents hidden and disguised by fear. Ideas and subjects to write about were everywhere, waiting to be mined and developed into wonderful articles. Avenues to place my writing manifested all over the place, writing blogs, once upon a time all that writing would have intimidated me right out of the game, but now it was an adventure in itself, a web page that I own and write for, challenges and competitions to keep me busy. The list is ever growing. Talents were not the only thing discovered, the writing community at large are out there. Willing to give a word of encouragement, gentle advice or help with decisions. Of course every now and then, I still get a slight queasy feeling of scepticism wondering if Iím on the right track but after a while the fear fades away. Donít look back, how wonderful it is to know that I donít have to. In walking forever forward on this writerís journey, I know the perils of what I am going to come up against. Like Stephen King, Iíll get my fair share of rejection slips and I'm sure that every now and then I may even experience criticism, nothing new under the sun there, thatís for sure. Yet now I get a joy from this journey. A joy which gives me personal fulfilment, job satisfaction and the delight of being able to encourage others who struggle with the same issues and questions as I often did.

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This article has been read 460 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marina Rojas04/26/12
Your thoughts in this dissertation are those that all of who put ink to paper think every day. What an interesting, lonely but magnificent struggle the call to be a writer presents !

I would like to offer a small critique...a break in your thoughts, a space between paragraphs of like thoughts would make the reading easier. Sometimes writings that run together like this seem hard to read, and the reader loses their way quickly.

Keep putting ink to paper! You are not alone in what you wonder about your writings, you share it with each one of us that turn to writing.

Be encouraged, your words are clear and move your reader to thoughtful insights.
Hiram Claudio04/26/12
I appreciated the way you chronicled the journey, the fears and struggles, we all face as writers. I was touched by the concluding point about the joy of personal fulfillment ... that really spoke to me.

I agree that blank lines between paragraphs would have made this piece much easier to read.

Please keep writing ... this was very good!
Genia Gilbert04/26/12
How I relate to this! You have perfectly described feelings we all have, especially if writing is really in our hearts. I enjoyed this and was personally encouraged by the thoughts you expressed so well.
C D Swanson 04/27/12
My Dear Colleague- you did a marvelous job with this entry. You've managed to capture the vulnerability that almost all writers go through at one time or another.

You clearly were on topic. God gave you the heart for writing, when He places something within our hearts and we are passionate for it...He will usually help us accomplish our goals.

Top Literary Authors have had their fair share of "rejection slips" or "no thanks - we'll call you." Including this writer! LOL.
I congratulate you...that means you are a REAL WRITER. For only those who write can be rejected! Those who don't won't receive any. Think about that for awhile.

Thank you for this..nicely done, and nicely told. Keep writing Sweetie, you have a gift. I look forward to your next entry.

God Bless~
Laura Manley04/28/12
I think you have described very well the typical life of a writer, yet through your entry, you give a hope that we all have to have in order to proceed. I found your article quite difficult to read since there were no paragraph breaks. Perhaps that was an oversight on your part. My feeling on rejections is a good one; without them, how do we grow? Nicely written!
marcella franseen04/30/12
Ah,yes. I know this struggle all too well. Unfortunately, I can only relate to the first half. The second half, where you make peace with the world of the written word, is yet beyond my grasp. I started writing about a year ago. I think in the last year I've made the serious decision to quite three different times. I'm still writing, but I consider quitting on a weekly basis.:) I'm glad you made it through and are seeing the fruits of your efforts.
Leola Ogle 04/30/12
You've managed to express what we all feel or have felt. Good job! I agree with the critique of putting breaks in your writing. It's very difficult to follow when there aren't any spaces. God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
This is a lovely article. I'm sure just about every writer has had very similar feelings. It can be intimidating to pour your heart into a space then put it out there for the world to see.

You may want to break the piece up into several small paragraphs with double spacing between them to give the reader that important white space. I also noticed a few typos or missing words like come instead of came. A challenge buddy or critique group can help you to proof your piece before submission. Check the message boards for the groups.

You did an excellent job writing on topic. I could so relate to your MC. However, the cool thing about writing is even though it is scary, when we listen to God's prompting He can use our words to touch people from all over. What a wonderful message!