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Hope is Required For Writing

Requirements of a Writer

Writing is one of the easiest professions to get into. All one really needs is a pen and paper, or in most cases, a computer. There is no licensing requirement, as there is for lawyers or doctors. You do not have to have five years experience, as is the requirement for many positions.

As well, you don't need a lot of expensive equipment, as you would if you were a plumber, or a carpenter. To become a writer, you simply write. And that sounds so easy, right? So what is required for writing?

It is deceptively easy, but oh so difficult. And one of the most difficult aspects of writing is overcoming the psychological barriers in your own mind. Writing requires a great deal of emotional stamina, and tests the very core of who someone is because to write, you need hope.

by MrGuilt

by MrGuilt

Hope is Required to Write

One of the biggest requirements for writing is HOPE! Hope is required to write! How so? Here a few ways that you need hope to write:

  1. You must have hope, in order to not give up on a project before you even start.
  2. You must have some kind of hope as you start out, that something good will come out of your pen.
  3. If you are actually writing something that other people are going to read, you have to have hope that the piece has potential. You must believe that you have something to share.

Another hub I just read recently by Tipaogue, called My Fear of Failure, talks about how she was afraid to write, because everything in her mind was telling her it was impossible. This was a lack of hope. And without hope, we are held back by our fear.

I confess that often when I sit down to write, I feel tension, fear and anxiety. These are some of the things that I fear:

  1. I'm not sure if what I am writing is good enough
  2. Not sure if people will like it.
  3. Not sure if it's worth my time to sit down write.
  4. I am especially afraid that I will not be able to sustain enough of my ideas to carry me towards making a full article or chapter.

Yes, to be successful as a writer, we need hope and her close sister, faith. Closely related to hope, is faith. Faith in those future readers and belief that they will eventually come.Faith that what you are doing is worthwhile, and has a purpose. Otherwise, how could any writer continue? It would be seem hopeless and bleak.

We need faith and hope to continue and to believe we can do this, that it is worthwhile, and that we will finish. We need faith that what we are writing will be of value to others.

John Steinbeck, author of "Of Mice and Men."

John Steinbeck, author of "Of Mice and Men."

Joseph Heller, author of "Catch-22"

Joseph Heller, author of "Catch-22"

Ernest Hemingway, author of "The Old Man and the Sea."

Ernest Hemingway, author of "The Old Man and the Sea."

Famous Writers Talk About Writing

Hope and faith are spiritual characteristics, and are the things that journalism school, and writing textbooks can't really teach you.

Having hope to keep going, and keep trying is important in whatever one does in life, but is especially important in writing because writing involves one's self. Everything that is written ultimately comes from the individual's mind and heart. Yes, they must work with facts, but the way a writer puts these facts together comes from within.

It is perhaps for this reason that many writers have made some astounding statements about writing. For example, Walter Wellesley(Red)Smith said this: "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." Smith is acknowledging that writing takes everything from you. Everything!

A very similar quote to that one is by Earnest Hemingway. He said: "There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter, and bleed." Wow! Written by a writer considered one of the best in the English language. He obviously did not find it easy.

E.L. Doctorow called writing a "socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." He was comparing writing to a mental illness! A form of craziness! I think he was acknowledging the utmost openness and vulnerability that a writer must endure, in order to perform his craft!

"Every writer I know has trouble writing." came from Joseph Heller, an icon in the writing world. He made the statement that it was not easy for anyone.

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And from the gifted novelist, John Steinbeck: "The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true." Steinbeck's statement is about believing, and having hope in what you are doing, even when no one else does. Powerful!

One more from Steinbeck: "In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

Reflections on Red Smith

My Story

To give some context to this article, I am going to briefly share my own journey with writing, and the need for hope.

I have always loved books. My Mother told me that I used to have ten books in my bed, every night, before I went to sleep. Most kids had toys; I had books. And writing, and making up stories has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

In grade five, I won a writing contest, and got my name in the paper. I excelled in school assignments that involved writing. And all throughout my preteen and teen years, I kept a diary. I still do.

That said, however, I did not have much hope that I could make it as a writer: for it was a very competitive field. I did not believe that I could make it. That I was enough of a person to stand up and be counted, as a writer, or any other creative field. Good feedback was not enough to compensate for the gnawing insecurity and pain I had from living in a home with abuse towards my Mother and myself.

My writing was my escape ... a form of therapy, and yes, hope. For many years, I did not have the courage, or the confidence to believe that I could follow my dreams of a creative career. Unsure of what to do with my life, for several years after high school, I floundered in entry-level positions, working far beneath my dreams.

Through verbal abuse, I had been told I was not capable, and was not worthy, many times. And I believed it. And lived it. I even went to journalism school for one semester, but dropped out, not believing that I could finish. At the age of 25, I finally went back to school, and finished my degree in English Education. I still struggled with insecurity, though, even as a teacher.

Three years ago, I married a man who believed in me. For the first time, I had consistent positive feedback from a man. This man encouraged me to write. Six months ago, he asked me, "why don't you write?" And I had no answer. I had to do it. To pursue that dream once again.

I still struggle with those feelings of anxiety and fear when it comes to writing. Will this be good enough? Will anyone like it? Who would want to listen to me? But I have to remember, during those times, that writing requires hope, and faith. For me, as a believer, that hope and faith comes from God. Hope and faith are spiritual qualities, and have to be taught to the heart, not the mind. For me, this verse sums up the way I receive hope from God:

For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
--- Psalm 38:15

Renew Your Hope

So, if you struggle with feeling like you are not good enough to write, remember that you are in good company. Some of the biggest names in literature felt the same way. Therefore, it must be normal. One of the hazards of the writing profession. Writing takes everything that you are, and tests the core of your very identity. That can be terribly difficult. Try to renew your hope, and your faith, to continue. Your struggles are not a sign that you are meant to give up, but rather that you are meant to dig deeper.


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 10, 2015:

@Breanne, thanks so much for the comment, and I apologize for taking so long to respond. You are so right -- practice, talent and reading are all also very important. Hope just lets us keep going. Take care and thanks again!

Breanne Ginsburg on January 07, 2015:

I agree that while it can be hard, having hope is important to being a good writer. I do also think though that to be a good writer, people have to have the talent and have to practice writing and do a lot of reading. This was a great article.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on February 21, 2013:

@Creative, I am so glad that my own struggles were able to help you, by encouraging. That makes my day! I do think knowing we are not alone can help get through the sometime loneliness and "torture" of trying to write sometimes! Have a wonderful day and happy writing! :)

@Rasta, thank you so much! Your comment is so lovely and encouraging! And yes, writing in and of itself is valuable, and I agree that focusing on something besides money is important for our soul. Thank you, and a wonderful day!!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on February 21, 2013:

Victoria, I appreciate you coming by so much again, this time. Thank you SO MUCH for showing me hub love, and sharing this hub around. Nice to see you, my friend. Hope things in the teaching are going well!

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on February 20, 2013:

I was just going through the same struggle. I finally convinced myself that it does not matter if I reap any rewards as writer. Pushing through and completing a beautiful article such as this one is most important.

You have done a great social favor to all writing communities.

Carrie L Cronkite from Maine on February 20, 2013:

Wow, this hub is awesome. You were able to reach in the depths of our souls with this hub, you're writing is excellent, I was able to relate to what you said. It's not easy writing a good article, book, speech or whatever else and it's nice to see that other great writers struggled with the same issues we do. You have inspired and encouraged me! Keep up the good work, you're writing helps many people. The best to you!

torrilynn on February 20, 2013:

Thanks for this hub. I believe it is hard if you allow it to be hard. I feel that inspiration and motivation in believing that you can accomplish writing an article or blog will surely help. On the other hand, you can receive something such as writer's block or basically a time when you can't think of something to write or how to write about a particular article. Thanks again. Voted up.

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on February 19, 2013:

Very uplifting hub. Writing is definitely who and what we are. Sister to the hope is determination and marriage to words. Keep writing. Keep writing.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2013:

Hey, girl, I read this 16 months ago and am so glad I came across it again. This is a wonderful hub for aspiring writers. Sharing on HP and I may share it on LinkedIn as well! Many votes!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on February 19, 2013:

Suzie, so true! That is why it is so hard. Thanks for the lovely comment and take care!

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on February 19, 2013:

Writing is not what we do - it is what we are. Wonderful and encouraging Hub. Voted up!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 05, 2012:

@Victoria, thanks so much for reading this again. I am so glad it was encouraging. I understand what you mean about trying to make it as a writer. It's tough, isn't it? Take care and have a wonderful evening.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 05, 2012:

@KD, very well said! It is so true that we must understand ourselves in order to bring out what is within. Thank you for a truly insightful comment.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 05, 2012:

@Rolly, blessings to you, my friend! You are so kind and that means a lot coming from you, especially. Take care in Alberta. Greetings from Manitoba!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 05, 2012:

@TS, thank you so much for such a warm and caring comment! I agree that the opposite of doubt is hope and doubt doesn't get us very far. And we definitely do need hope to keep at it, don't we? Take care!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 05, 2012:

HI! I read this month's ago, but it was worth reading again. It popped up at the perfect time, as I've been struggling lately with Can I do This? I have a limited amount of time at home to see if I can make enough money as a freelance writer. I've done some but not nearly enough. There are so many distractions, and I find I need focus. And sometimes that hope wavers, as my doubts overwhelm me. I love your quotes from famous folks, especially the sitting at a typewriter and bleeding quote. Great job on this hub--again!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 05, 2012:

@Jools, you are so right! The important thing is that we keep doing it, in spite of the feelings. And as we keep writing in spite of these feelings, I believe the feelings start to subside. At least, that has been my experience. I am so glad that you related and thanks so much for sharing! Have a wonderful night!

KDuBarry03 on June 04, 2012:

I view writing as the animal within us: we have the instinct, we know what we want to do, but it us up to the writer, as a person, to depict what the natural flow of our writing is :) Understanding yourself, as the writer, will help people grow the hope they need to become the writer they aspire to be.


Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on June 04, 2012:

Hi prairieprincess... never a doubt in anyones mind that has read your work that you have a gift. This is an exceptional piece of your talents... Thank you.

Hugs from Alberta

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on June 04, 2012:


I guess the flip side of doubt is hope and you have accurately put forth the importance of faith and hope. I like your personal journey back to the writing game and am pleased that you found a person in your life to support you and a warm writing community here on Hubpages with whom to share your stuff!

Keep the faith and the's needed in this game!


Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 04, 2012:

PrairiePrincess, I enjoyed this; there were lots of instances of me saying 'oh yeah, I know that feeling'. It is inspirational though, we all want to do it, some of us start to do it and then we worry about whether it's good enough and on and on it goes. The most important thing is just doing it - worries and all! Voted up and shared.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on January 15, 2012:

R.E., So true! You have put that so well. It is pouring one's self unto paper and that can be intimidating sometimes. I do believe we find ourselves through writing. I am so glad that you found my hub inspiring. That is a blessing to me. Take care!

reikieffect on January 10, 2012:

Writing is pouring your self into paper, and when you look at that may not like what you find. Your hub was beautiful and inspiring.

UlrikeGrace from Canada on October 18, 2011:

prairieprincess, I don't get much of a chance to read hubs anymore...but I am glad the Lord directed me to yours this morning. I needed to hear what you said and how you said it. I too struggle a lot with insecurity and the belief that "I" can do it. I will be back to re-read this a number of times. Thank you for having hope and courage. Hope is a passable gift. Blessings to you Ulrike Grace

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 14, 2011:

Victoria, it brings me so much joy when something I wrote touches someone else. I am so glad you could relate. Writing is such a lonely path and lack of encouragement is hard to overcome, but I am so glad you have pushed through to keep writing. Take care and thanks so much for your kind words.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 14, 2011:

Dah, thank you so much for your words. I know what you mean about people not taking it seriously. I think it's hard for us to take it seriously, too. The world looks at writers and artists as "playing" and not as doing a potential career. But as you say, it all helps and leads towards becoming a better writer.

Thanks again for a wonderful comment, Dah!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 14, 2011:

Marisa, thank you so much for such kind words! I have appreciated that you have been writing so many teaching hubs that can be highlighted in the "Teaching Times." You have contributed greatly during your time here at Hubpages!

I am so glad that I have kept on writing through the difficulties and have discovered it's a lot easier now, so that is such a blessing.

Take care and thanks again for such a lovely comment!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on October 14, 2011:

SJ, what beautiful, heartfelt words! I thank you from the bottom of my heart and feel so encouraged. Blessings to you!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on October 11, 2011:

Wonderful hub, prairieprincess. I can relate so well. I got scared off in college by a professor that didn't give me any encouragement. I lacked self-confidence and gave up. I'm trying now, but I don't know where it will lead as much of my time is spend in trying to make a living and get ahead. I wish I could make a living writing--maybe one day. I loved your quotes, especially the ones relating writing to opening up a vein and bleeding. So true. It takes everything you have--your thoughts, your heart, your mind, your strength, your weaknesses, your faith, and, as you say, your hope. I gave you all the votes I could except funny! Loved this one! Inspirational!

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 11, 2011:

As I read your hub I could identify with much of what you say.I always had a hard time getting people to take it seriously.I would have majored in journalism but having to work to pay for school I could not work out a schedule.I used to read biographical material about writers and found that there is no real pattern, they are all different.I took job related to writing or publishing as much as I was able to.Some of these things you might not take seriously as writing, such as business letter writing. However, I find that each of these things teach a writer something. If nothing else meeting the demands of a job.Non of it was literature but it all contributed to developing a writing style and command of the language.My only suggestion is take any opportunity to write and determine to learn something from it. I think you will.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on October 11, 2011:

What a great hub prairieprincess -

I'm so glad you shared this hub! This is nicely written - with passion, empathy and a commitment to persevere. You are beautifully reflective and candid with an intertwining perspective of both the writer as well as the reader. Please continue to share your voice - we hear you and hear you well.

By the way, thank you for all you do on HubPages and your Teaching Times newsletters. I'm looking forward to reading more. Blessings, MissOlive / Marisa

voted up and beautiful

SJmorningsun25 on October 11, 2011:

Thank you for sharing your heart and these truths! Writing is incredibly difficult, but it is also wonderfully fulfilling. Like any field it requires discipline--but in the case of the writer it must be internally sourced. It's a lonely calling, but indeed a noble one. After all, "In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1). What a joy and a burden we carry, those of us called to words!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on August 11, 2011:

@Rebecca, that means a lot, especially coming from you. Thank you for your kind words and take care!

@Samson, thank you for such beautiful encouragement. You have no idea how much that means. I love what you say about it not being a competition. It's so good to remember that. I will keep "bleeding through my fingers," as you say, because once you start writing, how can you stop?

Take care!

Sam from Tennessee on August 10, 2011:

voted up and beautiful and yes, you have company. Very well written with compassion and feeling. Qualities that come from deep within. You are right, many are writing, but you are only in competition with yourself. No other writer has what you do inside. Your readers are looking to find you and you alone in your writings so just hold your head high and 'bleed through your fingers' as you pour your soul into what you love doing young lady.


Rebecca E. from Canada on August 09, 2011:

so true so very true! you have a gift, my thanks for sharing it.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 25, 2011:

RTalloni, thank you so much for the encouraging compliments. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you: I have been away from HP for a while. I would be honoured for you to link this to your hub on milestones. Thanks and take care!

RTalloni on May 23, 2011:

Interesting and encouraging. Voted up. Looking forward to checking out more of your work!

Would like to link this hub to mine on my HP milestones. Please let me know if you have any objection. Thanks.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on May 02, 2011:

HPNurse, thank you so much for your kind comments! Take care!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on May 01, 2011:

I love the way you blended the quotes from famous authors with your own personal experiences to show how difficult, yet how rewarding writing from the heart can be. Kudos to you for going back to school and completing your degree in English Education.

I'm so glad to hear that you finally have someone you love supporting and encouraging your writing efforts.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 21, 2011:

JCShelton, wow, good for you for writing a novel. That is a real act of courage! I like that metaphor ... hope bridges words into sentences. Very nice. Thanks so much for dropping by, and for such an encouraging comment.

Take care!

JCShelton from Seattle, Washington on April 20, 2011:

prairieprincess, thank you for this inspiring hub. When I started my journey, little did I know just how consistently self-doubt hover above. Now, half-way through a novel, I have a clearer picture of things. However, anyone who writes needs an article like this on a daily basis. Hope is what bridges words into sentences. Great work!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 20, 2011:

K Burns, thank you so much for such a wonderful comment! I am so glad this was a pick-up for you! Take care.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 20, 2011:

Dave, how awesome to be inspired by the LORD! That is a true blessing. Take care.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 20, 2011:

BKANONE, that is so true. You do it, hoping it gives back something to others. It's a work of love, too, isn't it? Thank you for such kind comment! Take care.

Kristen Burns-Darling from Orange County, California on April 20, 2011:

How absolutely right you are, writing does take hope! I think that it may also take faith. I really enjoyed this hub, a great pick-me-up, on a day when a pep talk may just be what the doctor has ordered! I look forward to reading more hubs by you.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on April 19, 2011:

prarieprincess: Writing comes easy. The Holy Spirit of God generally calls me to my computer, gives me the topic and then speaks directly to my mind and heart. All I have to do is to type what is playing in my mind as thought.

Bruce Aderhold from Frederick, MD on April 19, 2011:

Those quotes from famous authors are all true. You only have to do a little bit of honest, from the heart writing to realize it does take something out of you. But hopefully it gives back tenfold to others somewhere down the line. Your hub is giving back. Thanks for sharing.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 19, 2011:

Awww! Thank you so much, RHW! I appreciate it, and also really look forward to reading more of your hubs. Take care!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 18, 2011:

Nice to be your new fan:)!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

zshnkhn, thank you so much for your kind comment. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

The Jet, thanks for stopping by and a great comment. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

KoffeeKlatch, Thank to you for your kind comment. I'm glad you found this inspirational. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

RHW, thank you so much! Nice to see you around!

zshnkhn from Hyderabad, Sindh Pakistan on April 18, 2011:

You wrote so well. keep up the good work!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

Bumpsy, that's awesome! What a journey of honesty and reflection, to write about one's life, but I think it would be healing, too! Thanks for the great comment, and take care.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

Vino, blessings to you! Thank you, and glad if it helped in your journey!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 18, 2011:

one2get2no, I am so glad that this gave you some inspiration and hope. Thanks for sharing! Take care.

The Jet from The Bay on April 18, 2011:

Inspiring... great job.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on April 18, 2011:

prarieprincess, very inspirational peace. I am so glad that you found someone that encouraged you to follow your dream.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 18, 2011:

Up, useful and awesome!

Bumpsysmum from Cambridgeshire on April 18, 2011:

I've tried writing my life down, after 2 starts, 1 hard drive burnout and much trial and tribulation I've kinda paused but intend to resume soon. This has helped me decide, thank you :-)

Vinod from Hyderabad, India on April 18, 2011:

typo : it should have been "it will come of use....."

Vinod from Hyderabad, India on April 18, 2011:

had to vote up this awesome, inspirational hub. Thanks for sharing - it will come of us.....

Philip Cooper from Olney on April 18, 2011:

Very nice and inspirational hub prairie princess me hope....thank you

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 17, 2011:

Dexter, I am so glad that you found this inspirational. Yes, my journal has always been my "safe place." Thanks for the wonderful comment. Take care!

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on April 17, 2011:

Very inspiring hub! Writing is an escape for me as well. And it gives me hope!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 17, 2011:

Kashmir, thank you so much for the encouragement! I am glad it was inspirational. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 17, 2011:

WJ, what a great metaphor! Hope is the fuel that keeps the lamp burning when there is no oil. Beautiful! I am glad this was encouraging. I was just sharing from my own experience. Thanks for coming by, and commenting. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on April 17, 2011:

Wow, what a powerful quote, Tree! Thanks for including it: it adds to this hub! Take care.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on April 17, 2011:

Hi prairieprincess, great inspirational hub for writers !

Awesome and vote up !!!

Williamjordan from Houston TX on April 17, 2011:

prairieprincess great writing I enjoyed this hub great topic every writer needs hope because hope is the fuel that keeps the lamp burning when there's no oil.This happens to me a lot being a beginner. But as you said hope produces faith, and faith is the oil in the lamp, great hub.

TreeAndLeaf from Kennerdell, Pennsylvania on April 17, 2011:

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." George Orwell

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