Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Writer's Life, the Ups and Downs with Jennifer Don

The life of a writer is not as easy as some would have you think, but it is a worthy road to undertake and certainly well worth the time you put into it. Of course, I can only speak from my experiences when I say that. Such experiences are still very new in coming about but are more than enough to make the previous statement a valid one. Others may well tell you otherwise from their own journey through this rough road and that is fine. Life is all about balance and writing is of no exception.

It is full of highs and lows. Let us not forget those moments of trials and errors. Or those that keep us second guessing our work and those spent on our toes in anticipation of how something will be received by our steady growing audience of followers.  

To be a writer is to walk a treacherous path of pitfalls at every turn and rough ragged mountains to face upon every climb. It is a life made of sacrifices and hours spent alone deep in thought or rather in deep undulating mental conversations with your argumentative muse or bothersome characters. It is a life where you make friends and break friends, and a life where you must learn to endure the hard times and embrace all the good times. There will be many of those upon the writing road of life. There is certainly very few days when I’ve crossed through clear waters in this sailing trip of words and I know that I stand not alone on this matter.

One moment you could be on the top of the world and the next, you’ve hit the lowest of lows and want nothing more to do with the pen held in your hand. It is often upon this low moment that one deadly thought crosses the forefront of the writers mind. This very same thought is one that can be deemed as the eighth cardinal sin. That deadly thought is the one where all you want to do is abandon your hopes, dreams and all you’ve dared to build and replace it with something better. It’s that very moment where you question your ability in the passion to write that you’ve held for so long and so deep within your soul.

 God knows I’ve been on that verge a fair few times in my short writing journey. But you know what? I’ve never crossed that threshold into the abyss and do you know why? It is all down to the support that I have found from people in the same boat. If you head on over to on Facebook you’ll see exactly what I mean. These people spend their time working on their projects, whether they are writers, publishers, editors or whatever. It doesn’t matter; they will still be there for you. They will make time for you. If you give to them, they will give to you without any questions being asked. This very group has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion for me and I owe them the world of thanks. But none more so than Kim Mutch Emerson, who helped pull me up from the lowest point in writing that I have ever stooped upon. She, with her words of advice helped me to see the light on matters that I was facing.

But that still doesn’t make writing any easier to grasp. So why do we write when we know it’s not going to be easy?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I write because I am incomplete without it. I write because my soul demands the expression and there is no better way to freely express what you feel than with the power of words. It doesn’t matter how you put them down on paper, or how you chose to express it. The freedom to do just what you want with them is the very fuel that is ever lasting and remains to keep the fire burning.

When you tell someone that you are writer, you may be shot down by questionable glances and accolades of jeering moments as they try to remove you from your passionate perch. But don’t let get you down. If anything, use it to your advantage. Use it to prove them wrong. Allow it to become the very passion you love within your writing.

Writers all over the world will tell you that it can be so frustrating when nothing seems to be working for you. You can also go green with envy over your fellow writers success when you are left trailing in the mud but please don’t let this become a growing focus in your mind. Don’t allow the green eyed monster to take control and jeopardise everything that you have worked for. So what if it takes you longer to make ready your book or writing project. It does not matter about how quickly it appears in the public eye. You want to make it the best thing ever so take your time and enjoy the process. Be happy for those who have found success and keep working on your own. You never know, yours might just be the best seller and hitting the streets for millions to be reading and then who’s laughing?

Oh let’s not forget the stereotypes here. Writers… what do people see when you tell them you are a writer? Well, some see you as being a person who has relocated themselves to a lifetime of perpetual torture at the hands of devil’s tool – the mighty pen. Others may see you as being someone who sits behind a computer all day with a notepad to the side and balls of paper littering the floor – who hasn’t been there? Some will think that you do nothing but write and therefore live an isolated life with no time for socialisation. But we all know this couldn’t be further from the truth even if we tried. Many writers out there have a family to look after, and education to learn and a job to keep. We do not slave endlessly to the willpower of the written word, as much as we wish we could, an earning must be made.
But seriously, the journey of writing is different for everyone, but we will all share those high moments and those low moments. We may all lose the friends we have tried so hard to keep and often it will be down to a difference of opinion or no respecting support from them. These things happen. This is why many will say that to be a writer is to live a life of near isolation. The most enjoyment comes when you are engrossed in the lives of your characters or when you are reading the lives of others. Yes you need down time and friends are good for that, but the world is your oyster.

The dream you hold, is the dream worth living for. It is the dream worth fighting for. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You my friend are welcome in the arms of fellow writers to write until your heart is content. Forget all about what comes next when you’ve finished that first draft. Worry about that when it comes to it. Focus on what you are writing first and foremost and enjoy the ride.
To my fellow writers out there, what advice can you offer to those just starting out?
What handy tips are you willing to share to those ready to further their writing?
What do people look for when reading the works of others?
What pitfalls catch you upon every turn?
Do you have moments of the past where you have felt like throwing the towel in?
If so, would you share them with us?

About Jennifer Don
Jennifer spent many years without daring to lift a pen, without writing a word that wasn’t forced. But 2008 arrived and with it, her love of writing. She began with poetry which quenched her thirst to begin with but soon that wasn’t enough to satisfy her. 2011 arrived with a dream to write her first novel – Awakening, which is on-going. November saw her attempt her first NaNoWriMo, and so Timber Varden was born, with the bulk of it being written within that month. Now she finds herself aiming to re-write that draft and turn it into her first published novel.
While she aims to work through the edits needed, updates on her progress can be found on here -
To find out more with regards to her other projects, then check out her blog here -
And should you wish to follow her on Twitter, or ask her any questions please see here -!/Voice_Of_Spirit
You can also add and follow Jennifer over on Goodreads. You will find that link here –
Jennifer will be more than happy to answer any questions you have for her. You can contact her at any of the links posted above. Or email her at

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