“Life is like a wild tiger. You can either lie down and let it lay its paw on your head — or sit on its back and ride it.”
Not only is writing tough, but so is dealing with the fall-out of your writing. By this, I mean dealing with what happens when you decide to take it beyond your computer or your desk drawer and send it out into the world. Some people will be enthusiastic about it — and some people won’t. And while that’s sometimes tough to deal with, that’s simply the way it is (believe me, I’m talking to myself here, too).
Just today, I received a wonderful email from a friend. I’d sent her a cycle of poems from my YA novel and she loved them, which meant a lot to me. That was the morning: things were going well.
Then later in the day, I popped open my email and saw a few lines from an agent who’s taken a pass on my novel. This has happened before and I know it comes with the territory, but still, it’s not the greatest note on which to wrap up the week.
What to do? What to do? I resisted calling anyone about it, since I need to come to terms with it on my own. I composed a short, but pleasant response that I’ll send out shortly. I picked up Ron Chernow’s wonderful book Washington: A Life, which I’ve been working my way through and started reading about all the headaches poor George inherited when he assumed the presidency, which made my issues look pretty manageable. I went for a walk and enjoyed the sunshine. I started thinking about what my strategy going forward will be and who I’ll contact about my book. I began working on a fun rhythm project that one of my writing group members designed. I reminded myself that NO stands for Next Opportunity (see my post Next Opportunity for some great advice on setbacks).
In short, I got through the day’s ups and downs reasonably well. How about you? Any helpful strategies you can share about handling the many slings and arrows that we writers are heir to? If so, I’d love to hear them! Write on.