Writers are survivors at heart. They are unbreakable, resilient and ultimately unstoppable because they have conquered the most insidious of foes — uncertainty.
Uncertainty is simply not knowing. This isn’t inherently bad, but the unknown leads to fear and doubt. Writing is filled with uncertainty. There’s the blank page, the next word, the next project or the next pay check. All of these things can lead to fear, doubt and quitting.
When there is value attached to writing there is an even greater chance for uncertainty to become fear. Writing that term paper is difficult because there is a grade on the line. In those moments of struggle, its easy to venture into the possibility of failure. Suddenly its so much easier to procrastinate because the prospect of failure is hard to face in large doses.
The professional writer has it worse because there is so much riding on those words. Suddenly, the stakes are bigger and the level of uncertainty that much higher. There’s a reason its difficult to become a full time writer. Not many people are resilient enough to face that kind of uncertainty day after day.
The best writers never forget that they are survivors. The survivor accepts the possibility of failure and welcomes the prospect of success. They know that the only way to success is to work until the job is done. When it comes down to those moments of uncertainty the survivor chooses to see things through till the end. Finishing doesn’t guarantee success, but he knows that its impossible without it.
The finished story is a treatise on survival. All these times that uncertainty crept in the writer never wavered. Over and over again he chose to work until the job was done. Successful writers are the ones that never forget that they are survivors. They finish their work then take a deep breath before embarking on that crucible again.