Eye on the Prize ~ Keep Reading, Writing and Reaching!

It's a sad reality that sometimes, the people from whom you expect to get the most support and encouragement will be the ones who will be the wet blankets at your picnic.  If not that, then choose the cliche most to your liking.  Wet blanket at your picnic, rain on your parade, or just plain naysayers to everything and anything at which you put forth some effort.  Maybe they don't even realize they're bringing you down, and maybe they do.

And unfortunately, that includes family, friends, agents, publishers, and yes, even fellow writers.  It's tough to think that not everyone is happy for you, even though they like to caveat their bad vibes with, "No offense," and "I'm just saying," and other crap.  Sometimes, it's hard to tell if comments are useful, constructive criticism and advice, or genuine apathy and spite; but if you're going to write or take on any other business venture or pursuit of dreams, you have to accept it all and still keep it moving. 

Sure, some of your ideas and plans will be less than perfect, some of your work not great, some of it just plain bad; but with all of that in mind, just keep your head up and your eyes open. 

Only time will tell if you'll ever reach the prize that you're pursuing, but if you stop reaching, then you can be sure that you never will.  Never stop reaching. 

It's true that everything won't work for everyone.  I've been told that a large part of being successful in any business is just being prepared for luck and chance to favor you.  Be in the right place at the right time, and don't be afraid to try something different while you're working at your "lucky coincidence" or whatever it's called.

Most of all, don't let anyone tell you that it'll never work, or it shouldn't work, or even if it does work, it's really has no real value.  All of that is a back-handed, back-biting, often passive-aggressive, not-so-slick way of someone trying to convince you that their opinions of your efforts and ideas are worth more than your own.  Phooey!

That said, I wanted to post a couple of blogs that I read today that might be encouraging.

Here's one from Martin Crosbie, who shares a story about being among those who made the top of the Amazon bestsellers list, despite many, many rejections before he decided to self-publish.

Here's one from Emlyn Chand, of Novel Publicity & Co., about leaving your readers wanting more.

Another, from Tawdra Kandle, on going the route of indie-publishing, and how "indie" is NOT a bad word.

And one more, from Michael Fogus, on reading, especially for those of us who are short on time these days.  Yes, another plug for the benefits of being a reader.  :)

One of my favorite Michael Jackson songs is called "Keep the Faith," where he sings about keeping your eye on the prize and your feet on the ground.  I don't think that was meant specifically for writers, but it's still great advice.

Happy reading, writing living, and reaching!

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Tags: Reading, blogging, blogs, business, publishing, self-publishing, writing


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Comment by Regina Y. Swint on April 8, 2012 at 10:47am

Clene' and Joy,

I agree with both of you ladies.  I'm going to try harder to apply the method of imagining that I'm hearing positive stuff, rather than give in to the urge to punch people when they are purposely negative to me. We have to continue to share our experiences and methods of dealing with what happens along the way in our different journeys.  This is really helpful and validating feedback.

I'm taking a class now that says that among the four ways to respond to someone in a conversation, especially when they are sharing good news, that what we've been discussing about the naysayers is called passive and/or active destructive responding.  In both cases, the responders are diminishing the value of your news, and as well, your feelings.

As I write this, I find it pretty cool to be able to share what I've learned, because I didn't really notice that I was paying that much attention in the class.  Ha!  Good on me.  :)

Comment by Clene` S. Elder on April 7, 2012 at 7:49pm

Well said Joy!

We just have to turn the negatives into positives!  Stay strong.  :-)

Comment by Joy Amber on April 4, 2012 at 7:23am

I  am an Atlanta born girl myself, I can relate to you on many levels. My family has never been all that supportive either, which is why I don't really have a lot of contact with them now. I have my besty in Augusta but that is about it, and I am happy to keep it that way. My family was not pleased when I married a man who was not "black" and this was no surprise to me. I don't even want to know what they would say about me writing...and that is the point as you mentioned. Who cares what other's think esp. when it is not supportive and positive?

I will have to use your grandma method. When I am hearing negative things about myself from others, I am going to do what you did and only imagine they are saying I am Queen of all that is wonderful LOL just kidding, but I love the idea and I will try it because, in reality, I cannot  punch ppl in the face the way I dream of doing...well I could but I never liked wearing uniforms in Catholic schools so prison fashion would not suit me.


Comment by Clene` S. Elder on March 6, 2012 at 8:19am


You ROCK!  I love your energy.

Thank you so much for the encouragement!

Have a great day. :-)

Comment by Regina Y. Swint on March 5, 2012 at 8:11pm

Hi, Clene`! 

Thanks so much.  And thanks for just stopping by and reading and commenting here. 

First, let me say that I love that reverse psychology that you use on your grandma.  That's funny!  I laughed so loud at my desk this afternoon when I read that, my soldiers wondered what was so funny. 

My family isn't terribly critical about my writing.  In fact, they've been super supportive, even though I don't think many of them have even read my first book.  As far as my writing is concerned, I think my family gives me way too much credit, without really knowing anything about what I've done.  There's a lot of love there.  But trust, I know a good bit about the family naysayers and the put downs.  They are mostly related to my failure as a person who couldn't hold on to a man long enough to marry and make babies, or about my weight, or something else that I should just ignore.

My writing naysayers and wet blankets come from my disappointment with the lack of enthusiasm and encouragement from writing circle, or what used to be my writing circle from years back.  Nobody seems to be motivated or energized to write and publish and share.  And when I push ideas about let's write and publish and share, I get crickets and excuses.  And I agree.  It does make you feel pretty isolated.

But I tell you what.  Anytime you feel isolated or like isolating yourself, come onto this forum.  You'll find lots and lots of writers who will energize you.  I'm really glad I found this site, because the writers that I left behind on Facebook were not contributing anything to my writing life, and I guess I was really starting to feel sucked lifeless by all of the non-writing-related stuff that goes on over there.

Here's to continuing to do what we love.  Reading, Writing, and Reaching.  :)  Also, I'm still hoping to connect you with at least one playwright or film maker from my pool of friends over there.  It's amazing to me how there is just so much talent there that seems to be going unrecognized and untapped.  But as much as I love and admire my friends, my writing life must go on, with or without them.  I'm sure they've no trouble going on with life without me.

Happy writing, to you!

Comment by Clene` S. Elder on March 4, 2012 at 7:25pm

Hello Regina!


You provided a really great post. 


I believe every writer has been in a position of having to face naysayers.  No one likes it.  In fact, in order to get through the nonsense, I have to provide myself with a dose of reverse psychology.  As I’m sitting in front of someone who obviously has nothing positive to offer me whatsoever, I just secretly tell myself that he or she is actually saying the opposite.  Like for instance, when I took my grandmother to the doctor two weeks ago, and she just had to mention the recent breakout on my face.  Instead of losing it, I had to imagine her giving me a complement on my skin to keep from leaving her at the doctor’s office to vacuum the floors at closing. (LOL!)


Deeper than her insult, is my family’s general disbelief that anything creative (and profitable) can come from me at all.  Their disbelief runs SO deep that they still think I made up the fact that an Editor accepted a piece from me to publish in an anthology.  It’s so sad; but, I’m so serious.


Insults and disbelief – from those closest to me – have pushed me right into a “writer’s isolation”.  And we all know that isolation has the ability to be dangerous, especially since creativity demands expression.


In a nut shell, self-administered reverse psychology and directly withholding information (from my family in particular) have been my saving graces.  Maybe they can help someone else too.  In the meantime, I hope we all keep doing what we love: Reading, Writing and Reaching! :-)

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