Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pollyanna or Gloomy Glenda?

Hayley Mills as Pollyanna

People in my generation know the meaning of being called a Pollyanna, but I'm not so sure younger people understand the reference. In 1913, Eleanor H. Porter's book by the same name was published and embraced by young girls. Pollyanna, the title character saw life in the most optimistic way possible. Nothing seemed to daunt her optimism. Little Miss Sunshine she was until a tragedy tested her outlook on life. Still popular in the middle of the twentieth century, Walt Disney made a film based on the book. Hayley Mills starred. An earlier version in 1920 starred Mary Pickford. 

I've always tried to put a positive spin on things and maybe have been guilty of being a Pollyanna at times. Being pessimistic only makes a bad situation worse. So what's all this got to do with writing?

Plenty! Writers need a good dose of Pollyanna-ism (new word!) to cope with the many disappointments they face. It's better to get a rejection and think about revising and sending it out again than letting it depress you to the point of casting it aside never wanting to see the darned thing again. 
Being a Gloomy Glenda--no, there is no book or movie about her, just a figment of my imaginantion--will get you nowhere in a hurry. 

I'm not advocating being gleeful when  you receive a rejection. I know how you feel, been there, doen that many a time. But putting a positive spin on it is going to get you a lot farther than the gloom and doom outlook. You don't have to be a Pollyanna, but at least look for the sunshine, even if it's only peeking through that gray cloud.

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