This month, I’d like to focus on a few tips you can use when the writing gets tough.
As every writer knows, there are successful days, and those when you just can’t force yourself to write. Then there are those submissions you were certain the editor was going to love. You know, the story you worked on an inordinate amount of time, you submitted it, you waited for months to hear a response—and then you receive that dreaded piece of paper, or that phone call saying the editor doesn’t like it as much as you. Yeah, those are the days that feel as though the breath has been sucked right out of you. I refer to those as the tough sledding days.
Having your work rejected doesn’t have to mean it isn’t good. It only means you found one way it didn’t work. More importantly, it may mean you just didn’t find the right editor or agent to love it.
Did you know Casablanca was rejected well over seventy times? I’d say we’re in pretty good company. Get back on that horse, my friends, there are better days ahead—I promise.
Okay, so now you’ve allowed yourself a few days to lick the wounds, consumed a huge amount of chocolate, and it still hasn’t worked. Eat more chocolate, and try some of these tips:
· See a funny movie. Nothing better than a good old romantic comedy.
· Do a writing exercise to regenerate your enthusiasm. Focus on what got you excited about writing in the first place.
· Interview one of your characters—seriously, it does work, and it’s fun to boot.
· Brainstorm character names and plot points with a writing friend.
· Do anything that gets your fingers dancing over those keys every day, even if it means writing one sentence.
· Pick up a book written by your favorite author.
No matter what you do to get out of that funky mood, remember that the literary world is filled with battered writers who gave up on their dream because of someone else’s opinion. Don’t allow yourself to be one of them.
And above all—don’t be so hard on yourself. There are no perfect people, and certainly no perfect writers. Ask any NY Times Best Selling Author—they’ll tell you.
I recently read an email on one of my loops where a famous author, who has over fifty books published, still gets nervous about her new releases being reviewed. This just blew my socks right off! What does that tell me? We are not alone, my friends. It’s all about putting yourself out there.
By now, I’m certain you’ve all seen the new singing sensation, Susan Boyle. I call her a diamond in the rough. She may not have the exterior features our society focuses on, but her voice soars as high as her confidence. She’s a fighter, and there's little doubt she won't succeed. She has chosen to focus on the positive rather than the negative, and despite the naysayers, this woman is living her dream--I hope you will too.