An interesting reader comment leads me to discuss how to keep your emotions balanced in this wild wacky pub biz. I’ve talked about the jealous, despondent and happy writers, but how can writers remain balanced in their emotions?
Writing Tip for Today: I admit that many writers are tortured by their emotions surrounding their writer’s lives. One minute you’re ecstatic, the next you’re in the pits. Here are some suggestions for staying on an even keel in your writing life.
- Different Eggs, Different Baskets. I tell my writing students to always have more than one writing project going. If you put all your expectations into one novel or one book, you will feel rejections more sharply than if you spread your hopes over several. When one gets rejected, you go work on another until the sting wears off.
- Focus on Yourself. It does little good to gripe about how easy publication was for so-and-so. Your journey is your journey. Accept the fact that you are going to work through a writing apprenticeship and that mastery of any art takes time. If someone else appears to have it easy, be glad someone is publishing. Then put down your head and get to work.
- Lock Out the Voices. You know, the ones in your head that say you ought to give up. Recognize that every writer has doubts. Even acclaimed authors worry they’ll never have anything else to say, ever. As Ann Lamott recommends, put those mean nasty voices into a mason jar and turn off the volume so you can’t hear them. Then, get to work.