Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Friday, February 6, 2009

Writer Fix Thyself

Back in Utah, I bought this book - not because I thought I really needed it, but because I respect the author and I figured I could read it later. Problem with that was, I never did. As I was sorting through my store earlier this week, I noticed it again and decided to take it out of the store (can't remember why I even put it in there) so I could actually read it. At this point, I could probably use a little kick in the ass anyway, right? Lord knows kicking my own ass hasn't done me much good this time around. So between store work and school work, I started reading it again. And you know what?

It seems to be working.

Oh, I forgot to tell you what the book is. It's Grow Up America! by Dr. Michael Hurd. If you're not familiar with Dr. Hurd (and you're probably not), he's a psychotherapist with some decidedly new ideas on how to help people the rational way. I used to visit his site on a regular basis, read his 'Daily Dose of Reason', and soak up his knowledge like a sponge.

Anyway, one thing I got just from reading the first couple chapters is a reminder that A is A. Or basically what is, is - and that's all that there is, so make the best of it. Control the things you can control, and get over the rest of it. Sitting around wishing I had an agent isn't going to get me one. I can't control any of them or their reactions to my work. All I can do is write the best stories I can write, and sooner or later the rest will follow. I can't make it happen any sooner by sitting on my ass, whining about the unfairness of it all - or how hard it all is, or how unfair. Neither will pouting over how much I suck. If I think I suck, the only thing to do is to try harder not to suck.

Another thing Dr. Hurd points out is to look at life with optimistic realism. Start every situation with a positive outlook, and adjust to reality as necessary. Negative thoughts only perpetuate themselves. (I'm going from memory here, not quoting - so if I missed the point, correct me, please.) Which means if I think I suck, I will suck. If I hold the thought that I am a good writer, until reality proves otherwise, then I will continue to write well and continue to improve as I receive more information.

Well, duh. I knew that, but I forgot about it. I was spending so much time wallowing in my rejections that I couldn't see what was staring me in the face. I'm a good writer. I know that. I also know there is room for improvement - there's always room for improvement - but those things I need to improve on don't make me a horrible writer or a horrible person.

:grin: Sometimes all it takes is a nudge.

Dr. Hurd doesn't fix people. He shows people how to fix themselves. And I need to work on that just as hard as I work on everything else - harder even because sometimes I can be a slacker.

And on that note, I have to say I wrote 1600 words last night - 1000 on C&D and :drumroll: another 600 on Nano! I might actually finish this book now that I don't think I suck.

Here's hoping all of you have a productive and successful weekend.



Marty said...

I always enjoy your writing... of course it could be that I am just weird that way.

Kristen Painter said...

Have a great weekend too!