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Advice from the Masters: Keep Writing by Rochelle Melander

file0001667866468Our summer ended with a trio of crises. The car stalled, and despite multiple expensive trips to the dealer, we couldn’t fix it. The dog ate a pile of stones, and even though we tried to save the little guy, he didn’t make it. Then the sewer backed up into our basement, filling it with water and then sewage. Thankfully, the local roto-rooter® guy cleared the drain, and my sweet husband took on the job of cleaning up.

In the midst of all this, I’ve been writing. For the most part, writing is a respite for me—the place where I go to deal with the figurative and literal crap of daily life. But in the past few months, I’ve had my share of writing challenges as well. Often, it seems like I’ve barely pushed “send” on a query, and a rejection pops into my inbox. Yikes.

Over the weekend, I realized I needed someone to tell me to keep writing. That someone showed up in my Monday morning workout—in the form of my playlist. We all know that exercise improves our mental and physical health. But did you know that listening to music also makes you happier? Research by the University of Missouri shows that listening to upbeat music can immediately lift our mood and, over a two-week period of regular listening, increase our general feelings of well being.

Sometimes life sucks—so we write. But the writing life isn’t always easy. If you’re a writer, you’re going to face days when the work goes poorly. You’ll have days when you’re so busy writing, you barely have time to eat. But you’ll have other days when there’s no work, and you wonder if anyone will pay you for your work again. You’ll get accepted but you’ll also get rejected more times than you can imagine. While you’ll have some fans, other people will hate what you write, or worse—ignore it. You may even lose friends over the endeavor. In the moments when you want to give up or give in, take a walk and listen to my writing inspiration playlist. These are some of the songs that keep me writing. I hope they remind you to, “follow your arrow wherever it points” (Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgroves).


Believe in yourself.

Gold by Britt Nicole

And don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not enough

Yeah there are days that we all feel like we’re messed up

But the truth is that we’re all diamonds in the rough


You’ve got stories to share with the world.

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

Live your life with arms wide open

Today is, where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten, Yeah


Not sure what to write next? Listen to your gut.

Compass by Lady Antebellum

So let your heart, sweet heart

Be your compass when you’re lost

And you should follow it wherever it may go


Let Your Soul be Your Pilot by Sting

When the map you have leads you to doubt

When there’s no information

And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well

Let your soul be your pilot


Rejected? Try again.

Fight Outta You by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

Don’t believe the headlines,

check it for yourself sometimes,

don’t let them take the fight outta you


Do It Anyway by Martina McBride

You can chase a dream

That seems so out of reach

And you know it might not ever come your way

Dream it anyway


I Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

I dare you to move

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor…

Like today never happened


We need you and your story.

Let Your Light Shine by Keb’ Mo’

No one else could do what you do.

Get out of the way

Let your light shine.


Your turn: What songs inspire you to write? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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