When Writers Lose Heart

Cynthia Herron Encouragement 4 Comments


Image Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Today’s post is one I’ve put off. I’ve shoved it to the back burner in favor of sunshine and light.

In short, I’ve dodged the elephant in the room. I’ve resisted going there.

Because I created this blog as a source of encouragement, my goal—first and foremost—is to uplift and inspire. It’s your safe place. Somewhere you can come and relax, recharge, and feel a little better by the time you leave.

But—as you know, too, if you’ve dropped by for a while, I’ve always said I’ll tell you how the pig ate the cabbage. Tactfully. Truthfully. Lovingly.

I think we’ve done writers a disservice.

There. I said it.

What do I mean?

Well, this.

We’ve caved. We’ve allowed some of the noise to become a joy-suck. A spirit-crusher.

And worse—we’ve refused to talk about it.

We’ve sugar-coated the obvious, added some sprinkles, and deemed it yummy.


Because we’re so wrapped up in crafting the perfect appearance, status, and persona that we’ve dehumanized the real face of writing. We’ve colored it every shade but truth in favor of the more palatable flavor of the month—whatever’s popular and trending.

We’ve been too busy keeping up with the Facebook Fredas, Pinterest Pollys, and Tweeting Tommys that we’ve lost something intrinsic to the writing process: our hearts.

We’ve overshared, underperformed, and blown to-and-fro in the social media wind trying to figure out what to do next.

Add to that every prelude, pause, and pass where writing projects are concerned.

Then, of course, there’s the take-it-on-the-chin mindset we’re told to develop. And we do.

And little by little, inch by inch, the lifeblood of our writing stalls. We grow weary. Worn down. Eroded.

Love for our craft goes into cardiac arrest.

And lets face it—when writers lose heart, it’s a lonesome place to be. In fact, the feeling’s somewhat indescribable. For writers who are rarely at a loss for words, that’s the worst.

We’re in the pit.

We need revived. Believed in. Encouraged. Mended.

This is a tough subject, but one I wanted to address today for myriad reasons.

As writers, I fear we’ve danced around the issue of burnout long enough.

With scorched sleeves and singed feet, we’ve divested our writing bones of life-giving hope.

Maybe we didn’t mean to. Maybe we were simply accessories after the fact.

Whatever the reason, however we arrived there, the truth of the matter is this: it’s painful. And it’s completely okay (and normal) to grieve for a time.

Many of us have watched our initial dreams blossom to fruition only to wither away in the blink of an eye.

  • Our craft isn’t there yet.
  • The landscape changes.
  • Editors come, editors go.
  • Markets shrink.
  • Genres shift.
  • Houses close.

When writers have written a very long while and the journey is filled with mountaintop highs and Death Valley lows, our once thick skin develops lesions.

We’re no longer as objective as we used to be. Our perception is colored by experience and hardship.

There’s no magic pill to fix it. No words to right it.

All we can do is take breaks, share, and rinse and repeat.

And keep writing through it as though our lives depend on it.

Because they do.

For a season we may lose heart, but our words—those precious gifts from God—will always be there, waiting to be crafted into life-changing stories.

Ready to try again?





We’ve sugar-coated the obvious, added some sprinkles, and deemed it yummy. Why?

(Click to Tweet)

The subject we don’t talk about, but we should.

(Click to Tweet)


Have you lost heart for something? How did you revive your passion?

Encouraging thoughts heaped on you today, my friend!

Much Love and Many Blessings,

Comments 4

  1. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Jill, I really wish folks were more forthcoming about the process. I see a lot of new writers with stars in their eyes, fully expecting their publishing dreams to happen overnight. It can happen like that, but it rarely does. (As you and I both know.)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Linda Rondeau

    I went through a very long spell where I’d lost my joy of writing. It has slowly come back as I’ve paid less attention or should I say less priority on all those “shoulds” doing what I can but putting my writing first.

  3. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Linda, good for you! I so enjoy connecting with people. I also know my limits, and I know I can’t write and be active on every single platform. Just can’t do it. While an internet presence and a home base are important, the actual writing will always trump everything else. And in this era of industry change, the smart writers are the ones who write—and continue to write, despite the difficult seasons.

    I appreciate your comment!

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