March 15, 2011

Daily Affirmations for the Insecure Writer

I think it was the lovely Barbara Wallace who, on twitter, referenced taking insecurity pills. Or yanno, chocolate eating. Yeah, that’s about right for some of us. And it doesn’t even take a major setback to throw a lot of writers/creatives into a spiral of self-loathing/doubt/mass of quivering, seething nerves.

And then there are times when there are major setbacks. And they’re gut wrenching. They may not even be fair. You see other people around you get farther, faster, and you start to wonder what’s wrong with you. Well, maybe nothing. The other people may have just had that magic timing/editor/MS combination. I truly think that was my trick. My MS needed a lot of work, but I happened to get an ed who was willing to put the work in. A lot of times, that doesn’t happen.

And you know, sometimes it is you, but that doesn’t mean you’re horrible, it just means you need to keep working. It doesn’t mean you need to curl up in the fetal position and wail. (I say this, but my fetal position is always at the ready)

But it’s hard to get anywhere when you’re curled up on the floor, so, for that reason, I have come up with Daily Affirmations for the Insecure Writer (egotists need read no further).

1. My MS did not morph into a soul-destroying demon of suck between my inbox and my editor’s. (it’s the same MS, trust me.)

2. It’s okay to be wrong. (really, it’s okay to need revisions, to get rejections. It SUCKS, but it’s okay. It’s part of learning and growing and what it does not mean is number 3)

3. I am not a failure just because I got a rejection. (You aren’t. It’s part of the process, more for some than others. But if does NOT mean you’ve failed.)

4. I can trust myself and my unique point of view.

5. Most stories have been told before, but they haven’t been told by me. (this relates to number four. And also means you don’t have to panic just because x bestselling author just released something similar to your brilliant idea)

6. Some people will like me, some people won’t. But hey, I don’t like Matthew McConaughey and he’s still a millionaire. (published and unpublished, this is true. Some readers will like you, some won’t. Some editors will like you, some won’t.)

7. There will be more books. (Only you can stop you from trying again. Don’t hang it all on one book…or ten books. Keep going. Keep trying.)

8. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me. (yeah, I went there)

9. Doubt Crows aren’t allowed to win this game. (They can hover all they freaking want, but the game will go to me. I will be the champion. I will not be defeated by a bunch of imaginary spectral BIRDS)

10. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. (whether you’re unpublished or multi-published, it being hard doesn’t mean it’s not right for you. Anything worth having is worth striving for.)

And those are my Daily Affirmations. You can add your own in the comments if you want! Go on, affirm me. You know you want to. O_O


11 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Good affirmations, Maisey! I can’t think of anymore, but it’s always great to hear these things. Even when you’re published, the doubting doesn’t go away. If anything, for me, it got worse! Thanks 🙂

  2. Always glad to help affirm. 😉 I know what you mean. I think it’s a different kind of doubt dimension, but it’s still doubt, and it can cripple you. Bad doubt. I know for me it’s always the nightmare that the MS I sent is now a big jumbled mass of random letters that no longer makes sense. :/ But I’ll try to read my own advice…and take it.

  3. I love those affirmations, Maisey. What I need to do with them is print them out and stick them on my bookshelf so every time I start feeling doubtful about what I’m writing I can read them and believe again!

  4. hehe…do…though you might not want to print out teh scary MS demon. *shivers* Glad you liked them!

  5. Though it’s hard to accept, no one – except maybe la Nora – has an insta pass to success. Every book means another chance you will be rejected. But like the junkies we are, we crave the possibility of the high so much that the fear of the low becomes less significant. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s just having tasted a little of the good stuff, you’re greedy and want more and you’re willing to do what it takes. Maybe that’s just me. 😉

    Great post, Maisey…you covered a lot of my affirmations. And yeah, Rs suck. Bad reviews suck. Hearing that a reader didn’t enjoy your book definitely sucks. But what would suck the most is not getting to live my dream. So I’ll deal with the suckage and hope for – and work toward – the good. 🙂

  6. Cari, woot! And so brilliant, so true! It’s all about living the dream, knowing that you’re trying for something so huge! And it’s worth the down days, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

  7. Thanks for a great list of affirmations, Maisey. I’ll go with Joanna and print them out when the doubt crow strikes.

  8. I think getting published is a lousy goal. It’s something I have no control over. I can write a great story and still get rejected because the publisher doesn’t feel the tone suits what they want. Or they just bought a very similar book. Or any number of other reasons that are beyond my control and I might never know.

    All I can do is get up every day and try to write better.

  9. Glad you liked them, Nas!

    Julia, I don’t think it’s a bad goal, in the sens that I think it can motivate, but you are right. Things can NOT sell for all kinds of reasons that the author has no control over. And we do have to focus on what we can control, just as you said. Getting better. And submitting. And revising. And brushing ourselves off and trying again. Because no one can make you quit but you! So it’s up to you to keep going! *feels motivational speakery*

  10. Thank you. I needed that!

  11. Geertrude, yay! Glad to help!

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