Yes, I’ve Earned My Stripes Today
Forget rejection slips. Forget low scores on contests. We all work so hard to do our best, to write our best and manage our schedules as best we can. We help each other as writers, comment for each other, critique each other and encourage each other. That's what writers are supposed to do. Right?
And every single writer I've met has been this way. Coming from a competitive corporate world where I had to get my armor on, get on the telephone for three to four hours a day, cold calling and getting rejected 99% of the time, I saw the writing community as one big loving family. I could not believe how helpful and supportive everyone was. I was warned that it wasn't always that way. I was beginning to believe that the person who told me this, was wrong. “Not me,” I said. “Couldn't happen to me. I'm such a nice person.”
Well, I've removed the knife from my back and suddenly I can stand up straight and breathe. I got a bitter reminder today that you can't please all the people all the time. And it was naive of me to think so. **wince wince** this is part of the process. Darn it all.
Kristen Lamb has taught me more this year than perhaps any other blogger or teacher. I try not to miss a post of hers, and go through withdrawals when she's gone. Here's her address:
About a month ago, she had a post about the sharp-edged people around us that help polish us into the diamonds we are, instead of the rough stones we start as. Her point was that no one gets to be good without being able to withstand the knives in the back, the hurtful critique or harsh judge, or a friend who proves to be something of the opposite.
Life isn't fair. Things just don't work out sometimes. Sometimes some people are toxic. So you move away. But that's it.
Nothing stops because we're having a particularly bad day. My dogs didn't care. They came up and gave me loves just like they always did. My chickens still needed to be fed and the eggs collected. The garden had to be watered, AND I HAD A GOAL OF 20 PAGES TO COMPLETE TODAY.
And I did it! I even managed to stay out of the sugar and the flour: my refuge in times of trouble!
Being a good writer means you must be easy to start and difficult to stop. Like a locomotive. You start out slow, no matter how hard you put your foot on the pedal. After the engine is revved and you are gliding down the rails, you have momentum to keep you going. You could even take your foot off the pedal, and for a time, the train would continue.
That's what I want to be: easy to start and hard to stop.
I'm proud that I stayed the course and didn't let a bump in the road ruin my day or stop me from writing. In fact, I may have found a new villain!
Tomorrow's my birthday. I feel healthy and clean, and so happy to be a writer during these challenging times. I'm going to celebrate!
How about you? Any things you think about or tips you could share about how you overcome things that could stop you?