Monday, July 26, 2010

A Little Attitude Adjustment


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Last week I suggested we adjust our attitudes and make that day the first day of the rest of our lives. Today, let’s interweave that idea with the last few blogs about avoiding Writer’s Apprehension Disorder (WAD).

Now, let’s add a new twist to that scenario. Let’s see how all this information will line up with our prose and enhance our confidence in writing. 

Face it, writing novels is enjoyable but it isn’t always easy. Yet, somehow we push ourselves and get beyond the ‘hard parts’ with a sense of accomplishment and a new determination to keep going. When the novel is finished, edited and ready to present is when the real work begins. And it is in this stage that many writers’ self-confidence begins to waver and sometimes deflate. Why? Because we’ve sent the work out and were rejected.

Rejection is never easy but we all must face it and learn from it. I know; blah, blah, blah, you’ve heard it all before. Yet, has it really sunk in? How can you tell if it has? Ask yourself what your reaction was to your last rejection? Your answer will tell you if it sunk in or not.

Moving on, now that we’ve learned how to avoid WAG and how to make each day the first day of the rest of our lives, let’s see how adjusting our attitudes from pessimistic to optimistic makes the final steps ─ the road to publication ─ easier.

A few tips to make the adjustment smoother:

1. Refuse self-deprecation. Tell your mind to rebuff thinking such thoughts as, “I can’t do this,” or “So and so is a better writer.” Those are not growth thoughts. Try, “If it’s been done before, I can do it as well,” or “I may be just as good as so and so, but won’t know for sure until I get my work out there.”

2. Don’t cringe at the competition, embrace it. Let’s learn from other writers, the established writers, while continuing to see ourselves as unique writers.

3. Finally, remember only you have lived your life and experienced your experiences as you have experienced them. Others may have had similar incidents but only you experienced them as you had. In other words, only you can breathe life into your characters as you come to understand them from their experiences. The experiences you’ve created for them. That makes you unique.

How have you adjusted your attitude? What changes have you made in your thinking and how have they influenced your writing? I’d love to read your responses.

1 comment:

  1. Carol Riggs wrote: Well, this is really timely! I got rejected by an agent this morning who had requested my full manuscript. Sure, it's disappointing. The road to publication is definitely slow. Still, I had prayed for a response EITHER way--just to get the suspense over with--and prayed that if this particular agent wasn't right for me, that it wouldn't pan out. So that's a direct answer to prayer. I have to be confident that God knows better than I do. The process is more important than the outcome, even though it's admittedly disappointing to be rejected over and over!