Harnessing the Warm Winds

I'm pretty much the tortoise of the writing world. Pretty much every day, I drag myself a few steps forward, regardless of the circumstances. But I have to admit, my progress is sometimes speed-bumped by a bad review, a harsh (though usually well-deserved and ultimately helpful) critique, or less-than-encouraging news from the publishing front.

I expect better of myself, and sometimes I do manage an "I'll show you" attitude that gets me working harder and has seen me through a lot of tough times. But continuous, stoic indifference to negatives is a tough feat to pull off.

Fortunately, the opposite works, too. Whenever I'm given the slightest encouragement -- it could come from a reader, a critique partner, a reviewer, my agent, or an editor -- I harness its power to elevate my mood. Then I ride that burst of optimism as far as it will take me.

And sometimes, I save a kind e-mail or written comment in a folder, where I can take it out to warm my spirit on a bitterly-cold day.

As a result, I've become more likely to write other authors when I've loved something they've written, to share with my CPs how fortunate I feel to have such talent in my corner, and to offer encouragement to deserving up-and-comers. Because you never know when your words might be the very thing that bolster another's spirits and gets them through a rough patch into smoother waters.

One great thing about having writer friends is that everyone seems to instinctively understand that the best defense against rock-hard reality comes in the form of the camaraderie and encouragement we share.


Suzan Harden said…
And us up-and-comers really appreciate your help and encouragement!

I was a having a bad week. A very, very bad week. And I'm wondering why I'm doing this writing thing. Everything I written lately sucked.

DH pointed out, "Colleen and Christie don't think you suck. How many books hve they written? I think they'd know if you suck."

So, thanks for the encouragement. Thanks a lot.
You're ever so welcome, Suzan - and very, very deserving. You're one of those I *know* is going to sell. It's just a matter of being at the right place at the right time with the right project.

In other words, having your bags packed the moment that your ship comes in.