Navigating Discouragement

Navigating Discouragement

Tips for Writers in Tough Times

The life of a writer is often marked by peaks and valleys, moments of inspiration and periods of discouragement. It’s perfectly normal to feel disheartened, especially when the creative process is fraught with obstacles. However, it’s essential to remember that every writer faces these challenges at some point in their journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable tips for when you’re feeling discouraged as a writer, helping you rekindle your passion and motivation.

Recognise That It’s Normal

First and foremost, understand that feeling discouraged is an entirely normal part of the writing process. Even the most renowned authors have faced moments of self-doubt and frustration. Acknowledging these feelings as part of the journey can alleviate some of the stress and self-criticism that often accompanies them.

Take a Break

When discouragement strikes, it’s okay to step away from your writing for a little while. Sometimes, all you need is a break to refresh your mind and regain perspective. Engage in activities you enjoy, whether it’s reading, taking a walk, or pursuing a different creative outlet. Distance can provide you with a new outlook when you return to your work.

Set Realistic Expectations

One of the most common sources of discouragement for writers is setting unrealistic expectations. Remember that writing is a process, and the initial draft is rarely perfect. Be patient with yourself and understand that writing often involves multiple revisions and edits. Celebrate the small victories along the way, such as completing a chapter or meeting your daily word count goal.

Connect with Other Writers

Feeling isolated in your struggles can exacerbate discouragement. Connecting with fellow writers can be a great source of support and motivation. Join writing groups, attend workshops, or participate in online forums to share your experiences and gain insight from others who understand your challenges.

Seek Inspiration

Inspiration can often be the antidote to discouragement. Read books, essays, or articles in your preferred genre and explore different writing styles and voices. Sometimes, absorbing the work of other authors can spark your own creativity and help you see your project in a new light.

Write for Yourself

It’s easy to become disheartened when you’re writing solely for the approval of others or the hope of publication. Instead, remind yourself why you began writing in the first place—because you have something to say, a story to tell, or a passion for the written word. Write for yourself first and foremost, focusing on the joy of creation rather than external validation.

Embrace Rejection

Rejection is an inevitable part of a writer’s life, whether it’s a publisher’s rejection, a negative review, or self-doubt. However, rejection is also an opportunity for growth. Use it as a chance to learn and improve your craft. Many well-known authors faced numerous rejections before achieving success. Keep this in mind and persevere.

Set Small Goals

When you’re feeling discouraged, the enormity of the entire writing project can seem overwhelming. Breaking things down into smaller and more manageable chunks can be extremely helpful here. Instead of thinking about completing a novel, focus on writing a specific scene, paragraph, or even just a sentence. Achieving these smaller milestones can boost your confidence and motivation.

Keep a Journal

Maintaining a writer’s journal can be therapeutic. Use it to jot down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to your writing journey. Reflect on the challenges you’ve overcome and the successes you’ve achieved. This journal can serve as a reminder of your progress and help you regain perspective during tough times.


Being kind to yourself is essential when you’re feeling discouraged. Avoid harsh self-criticism and self-doubt. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would give to a fellow writer facing similar challenges. Remember that every writer, even your favourite authors, have faced moments of discouragement.


Discouragement is an inevitable part of a writer’s journey, but it doesn’t have to define your experience. By recognising its normalcy, setting realistic expectations, seeking inspiration, and connecting with a supportive community, you can navigate these tough times with resilience and renewed enthusiasm. Embrace rejection, set small goals, and practice self-compassion as you pursue your passion for writing. Remember that every word you write is a step toward your goals, and every challenge is an opportunity for growth. Keep moving forward, and your discouragement will transform into determination.

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