Don’t Be A Failure!

I titled this post, “Don’t Be A Failure!” for a reason. To me, failure means giving up. If you continue to fight the good fight, regardless of the odds, even if you lose, you are still winning. You have stood behind your convictions and pushed back at your detractors.

I have heard it said that it takes seven positive things to be said to a person to boost their ego/confidence/whatever and only one negative thing to pull it all down. I believe that to be true and more so for creative types (yes, I include myself in that group).

It drives my wife crazy when I let some foolish comment or imagined slight pull me down when I have so many people in my corner. I get my share of good and even great feedback. Why do I let the occasional lapse bother me?

That is a question I ask myself over and over again. The thing is, I get over it. I give myself a mental smack and move on. That moving on is the important piece.

When I really start to analyze (yes, I do too much of that) those feelings of doubt, I realize that I am not giving enough credit to all of you. I want you to know that your support is extremely important. I value each and every one of you and love it when I hear back from you. I would like to think that it is because of the great value I place on your support that I worry when I don’t get it. In truth, you shouldn’t have to reinforce that support periodically.

In other words, “It’s not you, it’s me.” (good thing we aren’t dating or I would be driving you crazy about now)

So, when I do get the perceived slaps, it is critical that I get over them and continue. It’s even more important to remind myself of all the fantastic people who believe in me and what I do. To do otherwise is to admit defeat and down that road lies failure.

So, thank you for your support. Thank you for having my back. It doesn’t get said enough, but it is how I feel.

Thank you.

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Stay the Course

When I look at everything I’ve done to get published, I realize that, while my efforts as a whole have been important, one thing has stood out as the make or break characteristic for me – persistence.

I say that because I’ve had my fair share of disappointment as a writer. I have submitted and been rejected over and over again. I have been told a story will be accepted once I make the requested edits only to be turned down. There have been days when I wonder why I subject myself to the roller coaster ride that is trying to get my stories published.

Naturally, I questioned whether my work was actually good enough to see print; that seems like a road many of us travel down. I mean, if my work were stellar, there would never be any question, would there? Every publisher would be banging down my door to get my work.

Except, publishers are readers and not every reader likes the same thing. Publishers are also business people so taking a chance on an unknown author presents a definite risk no matter how good your writing is.

That means being patient AND persistent are both very good things. Keep trying to get your work picked up. It MAY in fact be the best thing ever written and you simply haven’t found the right market/publisher/agent yet. And while you are at it, work on building your author’s platform (another lengthy task that requires work, patience and persistence). That platform might elevate you to a point where you are not as much of a risk for perspective publishers.

Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. If your apprentice work isn’t up to snuff, keep going until your journeyman work starts getting positive comments from your submissions. When you are seeing that, you are at a tipping point where the right person will love your work and offer you a contract. Then you will realize that for you too, persistence is your most powerful ally.

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