Friday, April 8, 2011

Staying Grateful

Rosalie wrote a great post on Monday about how nice it is to have supportive people to celebrate your successes and help endure your difficulties. This post is sort of related to that one.

It's easy to lose sight of all the good in your writing life if you focus on all the challenges. And boy, there are a lot of them, and they're growing by the day. In the old days writing an excellent story along with a little bit of luck and good timing was enough to get you published. Not that it was easy - not by a long shot. But at least the path was fairly straight. Want to be a commercial author? Then most likely your road will lead you to the "Big 6" in New York. Nowadays that's not so. You can traditionally publish, self-publish, small trade or e-publish…the choices are endless. Which has been a wonderful thing for authors but it can also be overwhelming. With so many choices and possibilities, how do you stay focused on your dream? What if your CP or best girlfriend or that author you know casually has just gotten the contract you were hoping for? Then what?

What I've always tried to do is remind myself of one positive thing I've accomplished lately or something I'm grateful for. It doesn't take the sting of rejection away but it does remind you that your world is bigger than just one setback. And if I'm jealous of someone else's good fortune, I try to congratulate them before that envy takes hold. If I can do something nice for them - even to share in their happiness - it helps negate my own jealousy. Though sometimes jealousy can be a very useful emotion if it helps spur you on to greater things yourself!

Do you have anything you're particularly grateful for today, writing-wise or otherwise?


Lissa said...

This is me... though, I'll admit that any jealousy or envy doesn't spur me on to keep trying. It just makes me wanna crawl into the corner and hide.

I do try to offer my ear, my experience such as it is, my support, and whole hearted congratulations to those few I am friends with and to those many I admire.

Great post, Cari.

Cari Quinn said...

Believe me, I get like that too. A little jealousy's good, but once it hits a certain point I get overwhelmed and want to disappear. But like the circle of life, if we hang on, the wheel will turn in our favor. Sounds hokey but I've found it to be true. But that doesn't mean it doesn't occasionally feel like the only way the wheel's turning is going to flatten us beneath it. I've been there too.

You're definitely a writer I admire a lot, Lissa. And I appreciate every one of the kind words you've sent my way. :)

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