BITS ‘N’ PIECES
“What if I get a contract and I can’t meet the deadlines?”
The fear of failure fuels the “What if” question. Understandable. No one wants to fail. But some writers are actually afraid of success.
“What if I succeed? How will I handle it?”
Some of the ways to fight against “What if” is to beat it back with the truth. Every writer WILL at some point be rejected, because rejection is a side effect of our craft. But we can learn from our failures, study good writing and become even stronger writers.
To avoid “What if,” we stop comparing ourselves to other writers. We find support in critique groups, and we break larger tasks into smaller steps.
We can reverse those “What if” statements and make them more positive.
“What if I succeed and love being a full-time writer?”
“But” sounds like a reason, but it is really an excuse.
“I long to be a writer, but I don’t have a journalism or creative writing degree.”
All of these “but” statements can be countered. Personal experience is the most powerful way to earn a publishing credit, because no one can discredit your story. In fact, the personal experience article is the easiest one to sell. Almost every magazine accepts this genre of articles.
I should have
“I should have started writing years ago. I’m too old now.”
The “I should haves” are based on regret and false guilt. They force us to look backward instead of moving toward our goals. Without changing our behaviors, this regretful attitude allows us to sit around not writing. We self-sabotage.
We defeat the “I should haves” by focusing on one task at a time and conserve creative energy for what is most important. Know your best energy time and utilize it. Do you think better in the morning or in the evening, or maybe early afternoon?
In business, we talk about the ROI: Return on Investment. Writers also need to consider the ROE: Return on Energy.
Don’t over-think the process. And remember to congratulate yourself with each successful completion.
Always say less than necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control.
Win through your actions, never through argument
Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: the resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion.
Isolation is dangerous
Everyone has to protect themselves; a fortress seems the safest. But isolation cuts you off from valuable information; it makes you conspicuous and an easy target.