Several weeks ago, my dad mentioned that he’d read some things on my blog which led him to believe that I was feeling discouraged. That statement bothered me a lot, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. Until now.
You see, I wasn’t discouraged, I was frustrated, and there’s a big difference between those two, at least in my mind.
Frustrated means “WAAAHHH. Why doesn’t anyone understand? Why aren’t things going my way? I just want this to be easier!”
Discouraged means, “I’m not sure I want to do this anymore…”
I imagine that any life path, not just writing, involves a good deal of frustration. There are always setbacks and obstacles that you weren’t expecting and have to overcome. They’re annoying, sure, but there’s no doubt in your mind that you are going to overcome them, because that’s just what you have to do to continue on your desired path.
Discouragement, on the other hand, is when you get to one of those hurdles, and you don’t really feel like jumping. Because you’re no longer sure that your path continues on the other side, or that you’ll ever reach the end, or that you even want to anymore.
For the record, I have never been discouraged about my writing. Frustrated like hell, certainly, but never ever discouraged.
(And why not? Because I have people, like my dad, and my mom, and my friends, and all of y’all, who believe in me. Who support me. Who get me fired up when I’m running low on fuel, who cheer me up when I’m feeling stressed. So, thank you. Someday my books will be on shelves all around the world, and I’ll owe as much of that to y’all as to myself. Truly.)