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Monday, August 18, 2014

Accentuate The Positive

“Optimism is the foundation of courage.” ~Nicholas Murray Butler

Last Friday's post dealt with the sadness of rejection and figuring out why your writing career has not been as successful as you'd like. If you haven't read it, take a look here.

Today, let's look at one of the traits you need to more easily achieve success in your writing. Note that I said one of the traits, not the be-all, end-all trait that will shoot you to the stars in moments.

The trait I'm thinking about today is self-confidence. You can google keywords like building self-confidence or acquiring self-confidence to learn the many aspects, so what I'm going to concentrate on here is one aspect of building self-confidence. And that is to practice positive thinking.

I've noticed a number of people playing a challenge game on facebook lately. Someone has challenged them to write 3, or sometimes 5, positive aspects of their day, each day for a specified number. It would be fine training for becoming a person who looks at their world through positive eyes rather than negative. They can become the people who see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. 

Why not try this little game for a couple of weeks and see what happens. You can do it in general and/or about your writing world. Instead of saying that you received a rejection on one of your submissions today, say something positive about your writing world. Maybe that you wrote several more pages of your novel, or that you had an idea for a new article that you hope to write. 

I think starting out with a general set of positives in your life each day would be best. Then, later on, keep working on the general set but also make a list of the positives in your writing life. 

Here's my set of 3 positives in my life for yesterday and also 3 positives for my writing life yesterday:
1. I went to church and felt uplifted
2. I helped one of our new Czech students work out a problem with her new apartment
3. I had a wonderful dinner with our two Czech houseguests and Ken, lots of laughs

    My Writing World
1. I started catching up with writers newsletters, reading several
2. I found a new market that I'd like to submit to
3. I shared two old stories with people who asked to read them

Now, how about you? Are you willing to give it a try? The longer you do this challenge, the more positive an outlook you should have and the more self-confident you'll feel. As the old song written by Johnny Mercer has lyrics that ring true in today's world, too. One verse is:

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

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