Squelch Pessimism

Squelch your own pessimism. Grab it in a claw hold and squeeze relentlessly until you feel it oozing out between your fingers, put the screws to it just as it’s been doing to you for far too long. Kill it, kill it now! *Crazed laughter echoes around the room*

There! Now don’t you feel better? Isn’t it time you gave yourself a break? You know you can write, the mechanics are there for anyone to read, study and perfect. The heart of writing and the style are things you bring from within yourself. You know you have plenty to say, endless thoughts and stories to tell. So, what’s holding you back? Pessimism, that bloated ghost of “I can’t” rotting away your optimism and spirit of adventure. So, fight back. Take back your words and get them on the page in spite of all the reasons you’re afraid to take the chance.

Do you think the editors of the world are going to be peeved at you for submitting your work? Of course they won’t. They need content. Don’t be stupidly careless and submit your work without proofreading, that’s a given, right?! So, don’t let fear of editors hold you back. They want what you’ve got. You just have to send it to them cause they have no way of knowing you’ve got what they want.

What else do you fear or let hold you back? Family and friends not quite fully on your side? Get those people out of your mind. You can’t ignore them but you could push them to the back seats long enough to get your writing going. Besides, most of them will shut up when you have a couple of cheques to show for your work. That’s really what their biggest argument is about. At least in every case I’ve heard so far. I have to wonder in my case, are they attacking the writing career or me? Bet you wonder the same thing though you may never put it into words. However, if you can get the career off the ground, that will become a moot point. So do yourself a favour and just keep on trucking… err writing. Keep trying and have faith in yourself.

What else brings you into major pessimistic mode? Those are the biggest two for me. Lack of faith in myself due to family/ friends and lack of faith that anything I write could possibly of interest or good enough for an editor to put into print. But, it’s interesting that in spite of my lack of faith in myself other people feel just the opposite. If you look I’m sure you can find people who think you’re wrong about yourself too. Somewhere there is someone who is your biggest fan and it’s not just that optimist inside your own head. Look for your fans, support them as they support you. When the pessimism gets hold of you the best thing you can do is remember your fans and drive ahead through the storm till you get to the other side.

Family Fear Factor

Today, there are 65 subscribers to this newsletter. (Note, this was originally posted to the WordCraft newsletter on BackWash, awhile ago). Are you all crazy? I’m a fraud, I couldn’t tell you how to write your way out of a wet paper bag even if I had a map. Just ask my family.

First, they say something that feels like a polite, supportive pat on the head. But they top it with the qualifier. The qualifier is not a good thing, its something about not making money, not having perfect grammar, the typo they found in the odd article they actually did read, etc. Do people give you qualifiers?

Rejection from some editor is one thing. But, its not personal. Family and friends are another thing. How can that not be personal. Likely, they mean well. I know mine do. But each qualifier is like a mountain I have to climb out from under. For a moment I’m suffocating, buried alive under more earth than I could dig my way out from. Not so different from my nephew’s quest in the backyard, that hole to China he starts again, every Fall, in the garden.

But, you do have to keep digging. Keep trying and keep your eye on your goals, your passions and your reasons for wanting to write. Maybe you just write for yourself. But secretly you want to take the next step, its just hard to believe you really can. After all your spelling isn’t that great, the stuff you write about is boring and your grammar is as good as mine.

Welcome to the club, now get writing.