It’s easy to be hard on yourself. As a writer, you are a perfectionist. You want to be the best writer you can be.
And it sucks to struggle at it.
You turn to successful writers—the ones with the book deals and CEO titles—and you say, “some people have all the luck.”
That’s not something successful writers say.
If you want to be successful at writing, train yourself to think like a successful writer. So stop saying things that successful writers don’t have the time to say.
“It’s impossible to do that.”
Tell yourself that you can’t do something, then guess what? You won’t be able to do it.
Why work against yourself?
I’m not saying that you should try defying basic laws of nature. But if your writing goal is reasonable, don’t stand in your own way. Focus on how to make your writing goal a reality by breaking it up into achievable steps.
“I’m not in control of what I do.”
Is there really someone spending countless hours working tirelessly to prevent you from being successful in writing?
I didn’t think so.
And let go of the idea of “destiny” and “fate.” Pour all your energy doing what you need to do to make it happen.
It’s your life. It’s your writing goal. Own it.
“I’ll work on it later.”
That writing goal isn’t going anywhere, right?
Only when you’re doing nothing about it.
Wouldn’t you rather look back on your life glad that you had the courage to pursue that writing goal instead of pining over what could have been?
Stop procrastinating. Get to work.
“What if I fail?”
You probably will. You’ll fail many times.
Then one day, you’ll succeed.
Being afraid of failure means you already failed. And that’s not a way to start your writing goal.
Don’t ignore it. Analyze your fear and deal with it now so you can move forward with your writing goal.
“There’s no point.”
When I run a race, there’s that moment while I’m pushing myself so hard that I think that putting myself through this misery isn’t worth it.
When this moment comes—and it always does—I return to my mental mantra: Laugh about this moment later.
And I don’t quit.
When I accept my race metal, I laugh at that moment.
There comes a point when you’ll feel overwhelmed and quitting seems like an option.
Don’t make it an option. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
“That’s a lot of work.”
Of course it is. If success was easy, everyone would do it. It wouldn’t be much of a writing goal if you didn’t have to put in any effort.
Don’t compare yourself to your pals who are going on long vacations or watching TV marathons. That’s their choice.
It’s not yours.
“I don’t know where to start.”
Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Get the momentum going.
Don’t think about all the things you need to do to get there. Pick a task and do it. Pick another and complete that one.
You’ll have a better idea of how to get to that goal more efficiently and effectively once you start.
But you have to start.
You’re pursuing your writing goal because you want to be happy. So choose happy, motivating thoughts to think that keep your passion and inspiration alive. It’s your choice to pursue this writing goal and it’s your choice on your attitude about it.
What are other things successful writers don’t say? Share the quotes below.
After ten hours of interviewing, hand shaking and department discussions, was this what I really wanted? Did this position align with my values, my talent and my ambitions?
Not so much.
So what was it that I really wanted?
I made a list. I thought big picture. I reevaluated my skills and how I wanted to put them to good use.
When you get stuck, reaffirm that your writing goal is still worth seeking. If not, rework it so that your goal rejuvenates your passion to get back into the game.
Lesson 2: This Isn’t Your One & Only Shot
To think that it’s the end of the world that I didn’t get offered this position is downright silly. There are numerous opportunities across the country—and the globe—where my writing and marketing talents can be put to great use.
Totally not fishing for compliments here.
It’s the same with your writing. Just because your writing was rejected by that one publisher doesn’t mean your story will never get published. Either your story needs to be revisited or you chose to propose to the wrong publisher.
The longer you dwell, the more missed opportunities will pass you by.
Lesson 3: Bounce Back—And Fast
I gave myself two hours to pout. Then I went back to work.
I devised a strategy (see Lesson 1) then jumped back into my job search with more gusto, more clarity and more determination on where I wanted my career to go.
Rock Bottom doesn’t have to mean landing flat on your face. Make it a trampoline and bounce back, aiming to go higher than before.
That’s what I’m doing. And I can’t wait to land on my feet.
On New Year’s Eve 2012, I didn’t expect that in 2013 I would move across the country to advance my career. It was something I wanted, but I didn’t think I’d have the guts to make it happen if the opportunity came.
But the opportunity did come. And when it did, I threw myself into it 100%.
Was this you in 2012 before 2013 began? Did you doubt that the one thing you wanted would happen yet still worked hard to make it happen?
I forgot about my 2012 perspective until New Year’s Eve 2013. Why do I only give myself one day a year to reflect on what I want to achieve, what I have done to achieve it, and celebrating that achievement?
Am I that busy to pause?
I don’t have an excuse. I can choose to reflect and to make a lot can happen in one year. That’s 12 months, 365 days, 8766 hours of writing time.
So why do we think that time goes by so fast when we can do so much in one year?
Maybe it’s because in one year’s time we haven’t done everything that we wanted to achieve.
Think about your writing in 2013. Did you write as much as you wanted? Did you submit your work often? Were you published? Were all your writing goals achieved?
It’s easy to forget your writing goals not long after January 1. We’re motivated for the first month of the year to stick to our New Year’s resolutions. When February or March hits, we let the everyday tasks take precedence over what we really want to achieve.
So how do we bypass this? How do we stay true to our writing while balancing everything else in our lives?