Writerly Wednesday

Since I missed Sunday, I thought I’d sneak in a quick one today. I thought I’d discuss something not technical, but attitudinal.

Writing is wonderful, frustrating, rewarding, creative and special. It pleases me even when I’m up against a story problem because working through it successfully is part of the fun (yes, I’m weird). Publishing though? Well that’s another story.

Writing is all in your hands. It’s on your schedule, in your head, on your page. Publishing is pretty much NOT in your hands at all. Publishing is mercurial. It’s sometimes totally insane and often capricious and these things are always a challenge to me. Because I am a person who likes to power through things and make them happen. Publishing doesn’t work this way.

So truly, it’s easy to fall into a negative space with your thoughts and attitude. I’m certainly no mary sunshine (especially when I’m dieting, being hungry makes me cranky!). However, I believe in a big way that attidude is important.

An eeyore attitude does nothing for you. Nothing. It won’t make you sell faster, it won’t make anyone like your manuscript more, it won’t make writing your book come faster either. It will annoy people around you, put people off in general and infect your life with negativity.

A good rant here and there is important. Fire to your belly and gets things off your chest. Moping? Not so much. I’m not saying I don’t mope, I do. I have rough days where I want to whine and mope and wallow. But I try not to give in to that because a bad attitude is infectious, it gets worse and settles in until your world view turns negative.

Writers, like anyone else, need to be conscious of this and take steps to reject the road to debbie downerville. Look at your posts at your blog or livejournal or twitter – how often do your posts sound like you’re feeling sorry for yourself? If it’s often, or even halfway often, stop. Take a step back and focus on something positive.

A positive attitude makes your life better. It makes people want to be around you and while it really won’t have any bearing on getting an answer from an editor quicker, it will make the wait easier not only for you, but for everyone around you.

Stop searching for pets from people by putting yourself down. When I see authors doing that, “oh woe, my writing must suck because I got this review” or whatever, I begin to believe them after I see it a dozen times. When I need validation, I seek it openly. I read old reviews, I talk to my husband or my friends. I focus on the things that are good and right, I focus on how far I’ve come and I try to go along that way. It’s okay to seek comfort from your friends, I just think it’s better if if comes honestly and openly instead of your friends feeling manipulated into saying, “yeah, yeah, you’re awesome”

Anyhoodle, nothing earth shattering, just yer basic put on a happy face type post.

2 comments to “Writerly Wednesday”

  1. Karen Erickson
    February 18th, 2009 at 10:11 am · Link

    So, so true, I’ve always tried to apply this to my life. It’s just no fun being negative all the time and it really does bleed out onto everyone and everything in your life. I’m not always positive sweet sunshine but I do the best that I can to not be a mope all the time.

    Though moping is certainly allowed. LOL

  2. Erin
    February 18th, 2009 at 12:01 pm · Link

    Great post. Thanks so much for the reminder. Perfect timing.