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Yes, I’ve Earned My Stripes Today

Forget rejection slips. Forget low scores on contests. We all work so hard to do our best, to write our best and manage our schedules as best we can. We help each other as writers, comment for each other, critique each other and encourage each other. That’s what writers are supposed to do. Right?

And every single writer I’ve met has been this way. Coming from a competitive corporate world where I had to get my armor on, get on the telephone for three to four hours a day, cold calling and getting rejected 99% of the time, I saw the writing community as one big loving family. I could not believe how helpful and supportive everyone was. I was warned that it wasn’t always that way. I was beginning to believe that the person who told me this, was wrong. “Not me,” I said. “Couldn’t happen to me. I’m such a nice person.”
Well, I’ve removed the knife from my back and suddenly I can stand up straight and breathe. I got a bitter reminder today that you can’t please all the people all the time. And it was naive of me to think so. **wince wince** this is part of the process. Darn it all.
Kristen Lamb has taught me more this year than perhaps any other blogger or teacher. I try not to miss a post of hers, and go through withdrawals when she’s gone. Here’s her address:
About a month ago, she had a post about the sharp-edged people around us that help polish us into the diamonds we are, instead of the rough stones we start as. Her point was that no one gets to be good without being able to withstand the knives in the back, the hurtful critique or harsh judge, or a friend who proves to be something of the opposite.
Life isn’t fair. Things just don’t work out sometimes. Sometimes some people are toxic. So you move away. But that’s it.
Nothing stops because we’re having a particularly bad day. My dogs didn’t care. They came up and gave me loves just like they always did. My chickens still needed to be fed and the eggs collected. The garden had to be watered, AND I HAD A GOAL OF 20 PAGES TO COMPLETE TODAY.
And I did it! I even managed to stay out of the sugar and the flour: my refuge in times of trouble!
Being a good writer means you must be easy to start and difficult to stop. Like a locomotive. You start out slow, no matter how hard you put your foot on the pedal. After the engine is revved and you are gliding down the rails, you have momentum to keep you going. You could even take your foot off the pedal, and for a time, the train would continue.
That’s what I want to be: easy to start and hard to stop.
I’m proud that I stayed the course and didn’t let a bump in the road ruin my day or stop me from writing. In fact, I may have found a new villain!
Tomorrow’s my birthday. I feel healthy and clean, and so happy to be a writer during these challenging times. I’m going to celebrate!
How about you? Any things you think about or tips you could share about how you overcome things that could stop you?

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. being a writer is tough–especially if you're in the early stages of trying to get published. but we go through all the trouble because we love writing. Happy birthday! hope you celebrate tomorrow surrounded by loved ones!
    Great meeting you through the A-Z 🙂


  2. Absolutely! Thanks for the support and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Good thing I LOVE WRITING more, and these things only come by once in a great while.

    Nice to meet you too. I'll go over and check out your site. Come back. I love company.

  3. I've been reading Kristen Lamb's book We Are Not Alone and also following her blog! She is awesome. I too have learned a lot about blogging and twittering from her.

    Those knives in the back are truly necessary. I wouldn't want it otherwise. It doesn't help to have readers tell you what's good, if anything, and ignore the bad. There was A LOT that needed fixing in my debut memoir. I'm glad I found a publisher with editors who told the truth.

    Just keep starting each day. It's what I keep telling myself to do. Get those words on paper no matter how dreary you think they are.

    And happy birthday tomorrow! You look so young, and pretty.

    I just found you at L'Aussie's Travel blog. She is one of my dearest friends and supporters. She supports all of her loyal followers. She's wonderful!
    Ann Best, Memoir Author

  4. Thanks, Ann. With your comment, I have made two friends today, and seen some beautiful, stunning pictures.

    Kristen is such a positive, awesome person. She puts things we need to hear in a respectful, honest way. No wonder she has so many followers. I'm taking another class from her next month. Best to stick to people like her and let the chaf fall away.

    I also respect and honor your comment about keeping going. In the end, that separates an writer from a wanna-be. As I've said in some of my other blogs (whew! this was a lot of work doing one a day!), talent is overrated. It's the doing it over and over again until it gets right.

    Would love to read your memoir when it comes out. Please do stay in touch…

    All the best,

  5. This is one of the best posts I've read for awhile. Very encouraging despite the knives in the back. Good link too. All the best in your writing career!


  6. I thank you Denise. Being connected is one of the best things about writing. Thanks for stopping by and please do come back again! I loved your blog. I'm almost sorry the A-Z is over, but I'll still be using that button for weeks to come!

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