Managing Frustration & Unmet Goals as a Writer

One is essential but one will only hold you back.

Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS

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Illustration by Okalinichenko on Adobe Stock

“I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card…and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.”
Joyce Carol Oates

When I’m really deep in practicing self-reflection with writing, I really can’t imagine not having a creative outlet. Whether it’s art, music, writing, or something else where you’re creating — just that act of mindfully bringing something into existence goes so far and means so much.

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I’ve been writing for a fearsome 17 years now, though it seems impossible that I am old enough to say such large numbers.

There are the obvious piece of advice on this topic; set realistic goals, don’t overextend yourself, and so on. These are all valid and helpful, but there are also those pesky times when we end up feeling burnout and frustrated with unmet goals anyway. Or worse, we do set realistic goals and life gets in the way, making them impossible to meet.

The fatigue of writing and feeling stuck can be crippling.

That’s the need to create versus the frustrating reality of being a creator. I need writing, especially poetry, to be a part of my life. I need to write, express myself, and use this as a modality to process my old traumas. But even with that urgent need and deep love of poetry, there are days when the practical reality of being a poet is horrible.

There are times when people around you get practical jobs and enjoy the perks of them while you’re out hustling and earning a few cents posting content online. When you’re writing, you’re pushing to do more, more, more when other friends get to clock out at 5. Then there’s when you put your entire heart on the page and no one wants to buy that page.

Feeling doubt as a writer isn’t uncommon; you’re not the only one with these fears.

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
Suzy Kassem

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Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS

Brooklyn-based writer and poet. Designer in NYC. Drinks books and loves coffee. Has an MS from NYU in Integrated Design & Media. Working on an MFA in Fiction.