Otis Redding said it best, “[sometimes] you gotta try a little tenderness.”

Writing is a lonely task and it’s a hard road. It’s a journey full of dips and valleys, slews and pot holes. And if you focus on those things, it’s easy to get discouraged and to give up.

Of the 100 people who start a novel, only 15 will finish theirs. Of that 15, only 3 will get a contract. Of the 3, maybe 1 will reach the point of selling more than a thousand copies of their book.

This isn’t a job for sissies. It’s a job for the strong and the resourceful.

Part of being resourceful is knowing when you have to be tender with yourself. Take the break if you need it. Reward your victories–no matter how small. You finished a sentence? Great. Help yourself to an extra slice of pie.

Allow yourself to feel disappointed, but don’t give into the discouragement.

Things will truly get better. That rough road will give way to pavement, if only you keep walking.