Are you feeling discouraged? The beastie called Discouragement can darken our door during long creative projects, when we’re going through a tough period of rejections, or even when we publish a book and don’t get the feedback we wanted from the world. Life setbacks can also wear our creative confidence and hope levels down too.
It’s easy to lose our writing mojo when facing this sort of stuff and here’s a big HUG if you’re feeling that way right now due to one reason or another.
Okay, but now I’ve hugged you, I’m going to ask you to dust yourself off and get back up on your feet again. As my favourite Japanese proverb says, ‘Fall seven times, stand up eight.’ And, hopefully, this post will give you a way to stand back up again, no matter what stuff that gets thrown at you as an author or by life in general (as we all know that affects our creativity too).
To be honest, no matter how talented you are, all writers face setbacks and disappointments in their careers and most of us have to fight through a stinking pile of them before we get our first major break. (You can read about how it took over a decade to get my first novel published here.)
So we need to find ways to deal with this tougher side of being a writer in order to ensure that we don’t let our writing mojo get any more tarnished that it needs to be.
How we build resilience and encourage ourselves are huge topics, but I want to give you a fun task to do today which is a practical way of keeping the wolf of discouragment from your door.
When I was younger, I wasn’t very good at taking compliments – Brits, in general, can be a bit rubbish at giving and receiving praise (unlike my lovely American friends!), but I was especially pathetic at it when I was in my twenties. Whenever someone said something nice about me, I instantly dismissed it in my head.
1. Repeat every compliment to another person in order to reinforce it.
2. Write it down and put it in a pink envelope.
This way, I got used to taking compliments to heart and, more importantly, I had a record of them for when discouragement came calling!
So, you know what I want you to do – write down every single freakin’ positive thing that has ever been said about you or your writing (I don’t care if it was from your mother!). Then I want you to list every positive rejection, every shortlisting, every publication, every crazy life event you kept on being creative through … You can even add in inspiring quotes or pictures of your favourite writers or creatives. Whatever it is, it goes into the envelope (or jar or box), if it helps you remember who you are as a writer – and that’s a bloomin’ rock star who has survived so much already!
If you don’t have any compliments (though I sincerely doubt it!), start with the quote from me above and then just watch out for more praising lines and pop them inside the envelope as you go …
Over time, you’ll find it fills up – then every time then you face rejection, discouragement or general self-doubt, you can open up the envelope (or jar or box) and read all these yummy lines about yourself and start to feel better!
It’s not vain to love yourself – it’s the only way to keep your writing mojo in one piece in this crazy life.
Come and tell me one nice thing that’s been said about you by commenting on this post, hitting me up on Facebook or just sending me a message via the contact page. I’d love to hear what great stuff you are doing, no matter what else is going on in your life!
If you are fighting with the feeling of discouragement though, please check out my ‘Get Your Writing Mojo Back’ coaching sessions which were specifically designed to help writers who feel a bit blah about their work and would like support to feel stronger and more inspired.