Monday, September 6, 2010

Smile, It Makes Them Wonder What You’re Up To

The last year has been an exciting one for me. I’ve been getting the career on track, focusing more on story craft, story development and exploring all the different worlds that I want to write in. I got serious about being an author, full time, every day and that meant writing everyday, learning everyday and yes – smiling.



Grin: It’s Candid Camera

I hate the camera and having my picture taken, but there’s something to be said for being in the frame of mind that you are ready for that camera to snap at any given moment. Got a rejection letter? Go ahead and smile. You had the gumption to put something out there and get rejected in the first place.

Got a bad review? Go ahead and smile. Someone read your stuff and felt passionate enough about it to say something one way or the other.

Got only a few hundred words to report for your writing progress this month? Grin big – that’s an accomplishment.

When you smile and feel good about yourself, others will feel good about you too. The more positive your spin is on your work, what you’re doing and what you’ve accomplished – then the more positive you’ll see in the results and in the reactions.

Take a Minute

Okay, here’s an exercise and I hope you’ll play along with me. Think about your last week whether you’re a writer, a reader or just someone stopping by to see what all the fuss was about. Think about what you accomplished each day this week. Don’t focus on what you didn’t do, think about what YOU did do.

  • Did you write?
  • Did you read?
  • Did you clean and make neat?
  • Did you learn a new software?
  • Did you get your kids in school?
  • Did you get caught up on all that minutiae that piles up when you’re buried?
  • Did you smile?
  • Did you laugh?
  • Did you make plans?
  • Did you create a goal list?

Don’t add caveats to any of these. Don’t say: Yes, I wrote, but it wasn’t very much or yes, I read, but I didn’t get to finish my book or I didn’t like the book or I wish I had more time to read.

Trust me, we all wish we had more time, more money, more energy, more help – but we forget to sometimes just grin at what we do have. To make the most of it. To celebrate it and to feel good about it.

So what do you feel good about this week?

Come on, you can tell me.


  1. I mentioned to someone on Twitter yesterday that I was only semi-productive recently. But, taking a look at your list of questions... I was more than semi-productive this week!

    - I wrote some blog posts and started a new 5k short
    - I read a book and dl'ed a couple others to read (and entered several book giveaways!)
    - Did some house cleaning and grocery shopping
    - Smiled and laughed almost daily
    - Made plans with family and spent time together this weekend
    - Launched my new site

    Yup, looking back, I feel pretty good about this week!

    Thanks for helping to keep it all in perspective.

  2. What a great post, Heather.
    And man, did I need it. After writing a book in 9 weeks, I didn't feel like I've accomplished a lot at all. But running down your list, I've done several things. The hubby and I are getting my new web design up today. BIG accomplishment.

    Thanks for making my Monday,

  3. Way to go Clara! That's awesome! You have a lot to feel good about there. And right backatcha Angi, you've had a lot of great accomplishments. I had a friend tell me the other day that she got out of bed in the morning. That's her first accomplishment. I thought about it and she's right -- who doesn't just want to roll over and go back to sleep? So if you got up, that counts too!

  4. Ha! I had this conversation with myself last week!
    I'd been putting massive amounts of pressure on myself over a manuscript that clearly needs a good bit of time, love and tenderness and effectively giving myself a bad case of block when it came to that particular story.
    Finally, I stopped myself and took inventory. It went something like this:
    "You've got a cold and your kids are sick."
    "That's no excuse."
    "You just moved your home from Colorado to Texas and the boxes are still in your living room."
    "So that means I'm a double slacker."
    "Your firstborn just started school and your baby insists on living diaper-free although he only makes the bathroom 50% of the time."
    "I should have more time to write with DS#1 away and DS#2 not needing diaper changes."
    "Dipsh#!, you've published two books already this year. Get off your own back already!"

    Matter of fact, it went exactly like that.
    I'm so grateful I don't have one of those impersonal, writing machine publishers.

  5. I needed this today! I have been feeling like I'm doing nothing right and will never succeed at anything! It's easy to start feeling like you are the only one and everyone around you is doing great. After reading your post it occurred to me that since I've been stuck inside with a sick 2 year old for a week straight with the hubby out of town, I might be feeling a bit melodramatic. :) And if I really look at it, I've managed to get a lot done- Thanks for the push to get me out of my funk!