Jen Nipps, Writer

Posts Tagged ‘self-confidence

Developing Your Onward & Upward Attitude – Part 3

with one comment

3. Deal with bad news when it comes in.
I talked about this a little bit on Wednesday.

When rejections come, and — unfortunately — they will, you have to deal with them when you get them.

Don’t wallow in it. Don’t have an extended pity party. The rejections alone have the capability to reduce your self-confidence. Indulging in a pity party will erode it even more and make it that much harder to send anything else out or maybe even write again.

You have to move onward and upward. You have to get past the rejection. Set yourself a time limit for your pity party. For articles, I give myself a couple hours. For a book, a day. Most of the time, it doesn’t last through the day.

I’ve heard of people who keep copies of all of their rejections. Some people have joked about using them as wallpaper for their office.

WHY?????????

Why would you surround yourself with all that negativity? From personal experience, negativity begets negativity. You have to stay positive. Surround yourself by positive things.

Norman Mailer wrote a book called The Power of Positive Thinking. You don’t have to know exactly what the book says to be able to engage in positivity yourself.

I’m not saying you should never keep any rejections. I have a really good one from The Wild Rose Press. I believed then — and still do now — that it was one step below an acceptance because the editor suggested changes and said if I made them, she would like to see it again.

I can’t wave a magic wand or tell you to take a vitamin that will raise your self-confidence as far as your writing life is concerned. I can, though, say that if you follow these three tips on as consistent a basis as you possibly can, it will help erase some of those doubts.

I know.

I’ve done it. It’s hard at first, but keep with it.

Onward & upward!

Part 1
Part 2

 

Developing Your Onward & Upward Attitude – Part 2

with 3 comments

mailbox2. Wait a while before sending work out.
It never fails. We have a draft of an article or story finished. We think it’s finished and we send it out.

A couple weeks or so go by. We get an envelope in the mail or a message in our inbox. Our breath catches or our stomach clenches in anticipation. Instead of the hoped-for acceptance, we find a rejection. And that’s IF they respond. Our self-confidence takes a hit.

What can we do about it?

Stop.

Really, just stop. Take a breath. Step away from the mailbox or computer. Do not send it!

We’re sending things out too soon. Either they aren’t ready to see the world yet or WE aren’t ready for them to go out yet. If they’re not reqdy, we generally know it by the quick turn-around when the rejection hits our mailbox. If WE aren’t ready, we know it by our reaction when we get the rejection.

Sometimes even when we get an acceptance.

There is a lot about writing that requires a certain mindset. Submitting manuscripts is one of them. How do you know if you’re ready? Only by sending your work out for consideration.

When you (think you) finish a story, let it sit. If at all possible, let it sit for a week or more. Then go back and read it again. Is it ready to go out? Is it as perfect as you can possibly make it? If it is, take a look at yourself. Are YOU ready to send it? Can you handle it if it comes back rejected?

How long do you wallow over a rejection? That depends on how big a hit your self-confidence takes. The time it takes for you to move from disappointed to “Onward and Upward” is the best indicator if you are ready.

How long should you wallow? In my opinion, you shouldn’t. Set yourself a time limit, though. I only allow myself a day at the most to wallow/throw a pity party. Then it’s time to move on.

Part 1

Look for Part 3 on Friday

Written by Jen Nipps

August 10, 2011 at 11:25 am

Developing Your Onward & Upward Attitude – Part 1

with 3 comments

(Note: After the last blog series, I took an informal survey on what topics writers would like to see here. “Conquering those self-confidence demonswas suggested by Winona Cross. For other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments sections or email me.)

Writers have an internal Public Enemy #1 when it comes to building the kind of self-confidence needed to withstand the roller-coaster ride that is involved with writing, submitting, and publishing. PE#1 is none other than our own internal critic.

How do we combat what our critic throws at us? We can fake it ’til we make it, wait a while before sending work out, and deal with bad news as it comes in.

1. Fake It ‘Til You Make It
It sounds trite. If you’re not confident, you can’t act like you are, right?

Wrong.

Sometimes you have to borrow self-confidence you have in other areas of your life and apply it to your writing life.

A friend of mine, Nita Beshear, gives talks to different quilting groups and sells her book, Devoted to Quilting, as she goes. She says when she started, she wasn’t very confident about public speaking. But she did it. Her confidence has increased as she has done more presentations.

For a more personal example, I’m currently working on a book about Twitter. Whenever I start to work on it, I’m bombarded by doubts.

I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Will someone really buy a book about Twitter?
There are other good books out there about Twitter.
I don’t know how to do this.
I don’t know what I’m doing!

I keep going. I know there are other things I have done and can do that have given me the confidence to keep me going.

In what areas are you not as confident as you would like to be? In what areas are you as confident as you want to be? Borrow some of that confidence to let you fake it ’til you make it in other areas.

It sounds hokey, but it’s doable.

You’ll get another tip/technique on Wednesday.

Written by Jen Nipps

August 8, 2011 at 11:55 am