Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Turn Negatives Into Positives
We encounter a lot of negatives in our writing world. Things like writers' block, rejection, fierce competition and lack of growing as a writer--they can all evoke anger, sadness, or actual depression. I doubt that there is any writer who has not had to deal with any or all of these problems.
We can deal with them by having a furious temper tantrum, thereby alienating anyone who happens to cross our path. What we are seeking is to vent our frustration and maybe to get some attention from a family member or friend. Unless they are also writers, we aren't going to have a lot of sympathy from them. They might easily adapt the attitude that you wanted to be a writer, this is part of it, now deal with it. They might come up with a superficial phrase like It will get better. Remember that they can't understand what you're going through.
We can handle the problems by being the saddest person on the planet--too sad to get out of bed some mornings, too sad to clean the house, too sad to carry on a normal conversation with others. Sadness tends to expand. The longer we have it, the harder it is to rise above it. We can fall into the 'poor me' syndrome pretty easily.
Some writers fall into a real depression over the problems in their writing life. It would be a relatively small number but if you're there, you know how debilitating it can be. At this stage, professional help is needed.
One way to fight the problems cited above is to turn the negatives into positives. Instead of falling into the anger mode or the sad situation, adopt a I'll show them attitude. Make I can do this! your mantra.
Rejections mean that you need to find a different market to submit to or start revising and editing the piece until you know it is improved. Look at it as a challenge. Ask yourself how you can make the story better than it was. I think every story, essay, poem or article can be made better. None are perfect; some come close but there's always somewhere to up it a bit.
If Writer's Block is getting you down, walk away from writing for awhile. Do other things that you've been putting off. Inspiration often strkies when we least expect it. When the urge hits, hie thee to thy keyboard and start writing again. Don't try writing an entire story or chaper. Write a scene. Move on a little at a time.
As for fierce competition in the writing world--don't let it trigger an attitude that you're not good enough. Remember that those writers at the top of the game had to learn and grow in their own writing world just like you and I are doing now. They didn't become hotshots the day they started writing. You are as good as anyone else if you have the passion for writing that they do. You're as good as any other writer if you have the drive to learn and grow. Compettion is a good thing. It can only spur us on to improve as writers.
That final negative listed above is lack of growing as a writer. That is something you can control. You are the one who should read craft of writing articles and books. You are the one who should attend an occasional writers' conference or workshop. You are the one who must write on a constant basis so that you improve over time. You are the one who should read the work of other writers extensively to see how it's done.
Don't let the negatives become an excuse for not finding more success as a writer, Promise yourself to turn the negatives into positives. You'll feel better about yourself and you might have some success in your writing world. I'd like to see you smiling and dancing like the guy on the right.