Saturday, August 9, 2014

Positivity for Writers #2 : Just Bloom, Beautiful Flower

Welcome to week 2 of my Positivity for Writers series. My intention with these posts is not to say THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE HAPPY! but instead to share some of things that have worked for me. I hope they will speak to you!


It's going to happen to you at some point. I don't care if you are the most well-adjusted, self-assured, confident writer on the planet. At some point, hanging out on FB, traversing the internet, attending a con, or, heck, just browsing, the feeling is going to hit you: you're not as good as Mr/s Writer Person X.

Darn Writer Person X with their fancy sales and their fancy fans and their fancy success! And as you try to shield your eyes from the glow of their awesomeness, that feeling of not being good enough is going to get into your bones and you're going to think: what am I even doing? Why am I even trying?

For a while I thought it was just me, being awed by others and then feeling small and insignificant. Then I read a status update from an author I admire (and one who I consider 'big time' within our community) talking about he felt small and insignificant. But really Writer Person X?! You're Writer Person X! How can you feel small, too?

Because he has his own Writer Person X looming over him with their fanciness!

And because ANY time you compare yourself to someone else, especially through the filtered glitz of facebook, you're going to come out feeling less than.

In my lowest moment, when I thought I might just give up, author JC Wallace (who has his own special condo in my heart!) sent me this picture:

(thank you @and_spiritually_speaking!)

The saying struck me in just the right way.

I started taking mindful breaks from the Facebook community. I started putting on blinders (figuratively!) when I was writing. I made a chart of my sales, not to compare to others, but so I could set goals against myself and compete with me.

I get it, I'm small-time right now. One day, I may not be. But there will ALWAYS be someone bigger than me and always someone coming up from behind to take my spot. If I don't want to lose my mind to competition and feelings of worthlessness, there's only one thing I can do: stop looking at the other flowers, and just bloom.

I hope you will too!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Positivity for Writers #1 : The Year of Writing Dangerously

This is the first in a series of positive thoughts for writers. I think the best thing we can do in this community is build each other up and support one another as creative individuals. These are some of my thoughts, some of the things that have worked for me. I hope they will speak to you as well.


Last year, on my birthday, I set off on a journey. I called it The Year of Writing Dangerously and I was guided by one principle: write bravely. No matter what, don't let the fear (or in my case, the obsessive thoughts) rule you.

Be bold, be true, be lionhearted in all your writing endeavors.

Exactly one year later, I released my very first ever published novella.

I'm not saying that setting off on a 365 day journey of brave writing = publication. Besides, publication is not always the end-all goal. But I am saying that writing despite a head full of little demon doubts is the greatest feeling in the world!

I kept a journal of each brave day and it's interesting now to go back and re-read it. The doubts and the successes, the frustrations and the excitement. The day I'd given up hope that Dreamspinner Press would ever want me and the day after when I got to write: I signed the contract.

Writing bravely isn't about not having those fears and self-doubts, but instead, moving through them, for yourself and for your goals.

I proved to myself that I could be brave. Now, I'm trying to decide what my next journey should be. The Year of Writing __ ? I'm excited to see what I can do with another 365 days. What will you do with your year?