There is always discouraging news when you are heavily involved in the writing community. A writer you know has a manuscript reach the acquisition stage only to be rejected. A critique partner receives multiple requests by agents only to be rejected time and time again. A friend’s agent tells him it’s time to move on. “No, no, no,” seems to echo everywhere. How do you cope?
The worst thing you can do is give up! Unless you honestly decide the writing life is not for you and you’re okay with moving on. The next worst thing you can do is give in to negativity. Yes, it’s hard. This is a tough business. Maybe you even have a right to feel negative. You’re just being realistic, right? The odds are against you. It’s a fact!
Regardless of the facts, I refuse to live that way, and here’s why:
1) The odds will remain the same whether you are positive or negative, and I believe you’ll actually decrease your chances by being negative.
2) If you work at it with all your heart, mind, and effort, you’ll probably get there, and even if you do all you can and never arrive, at least the journey will be more pleasant.
3) Positivity and negativity are both contagious. If you are negative, you pass that energy to everyone in your path: family, friends and fellow sojourners.
So how do you remain positive when it all seems so hopeless? One thing I did was create a file of uplifting stories. Whenever I come across something that inspires me, I save it. My folder is labeled “Inspirations” and contains blog posts, stories, quotes, and pictures that create a positive reaction in me. It might be the blog post of an author who was one query away from quitting before he or she finally landed an agent, or a famous best seller that received countless rejections. If I get down, I go into my inspirations folder and it has never failed to give me hope and lift my spirits.
Our mind is a powerful machine. We can train it to see the glass half-full or half-empty. It’s our choice!
Please share any tips you have for staying positive!