Most writers have dual egos about their writing--the "I'm writing a best-seller" side vs. the "this book swam up the sewage river" side. When we query or submit our work, another side erupts--the vulnerable one. As much as we want the agent or editor to fall madly in love with our words, all too often we deal with silence or rejection.
Continuous rejection can damage our fragile writer's ego--if we let it.
I believe it's vital to find and utilize methods to strengthen our vulnerable ego, or the danger to quit presses too closely. Instead of focusing on our writing, our brains jot off on tangents. "Maybe my query stunk?" "I know there was an extra comma in that paragraph." "Is it the character? The writing? The concept? Me??"
Instead of letting my mind whirl on a merry-go-round of useless what-if's and why's, I evaluate why I'm doubting. If it's because I got a rejection, I study the letter to see if there are any clues as to what went wrong. If an editor gives advice, I give a lot of thought to what is said.
Sometimes I grow doubtful for no reason or for weird reasons. Usually, I'm just scared that it will never happen for me--that I've wasted years and hours and tears and brain cells for a poof in the air. That none of my writing will be available for others to read--a devastating thought.
Whatever the reason, when my ego plunges and doubts swirl, I force myself to focus.
Focus? Great! That helps...not at all. How do I focus when my skin feels paper thin? I'm already focusing too much--on what went wrong. What do I focus on?
Focus on your writing. Focus on your work-in-progress. Focus on improving your grammar, tightening your prose, nailing your characters. When we put our focus on the actual writing, the doubts slip away because we're having fun again. The career side of writing pales with the sheer pleasure of creating.
Never let a blow to your ego kill your dreams. Focus.
How do you nurture your fragile ego?
On a let's-hear-it-for-good-news note--Julie Musil landed an agent!! She's now represented by Karen Grencik of the Karen Grencik Literary Agency! Pop over to her blog, Julie Musil, and congratulate her!! Congratulations, Julie!!
Also, Tess Hardwick's debut book, Riversong, is now available! For more details, head to her website, Tess Hardwick. Congratulations, Tess!
Have a fabulous Monday!