Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Write Attitude
by Debby Giusti
What makes the difference between a person who moves forward with their writing despite rejection and those who give up and forsake their dream?
Hymen’s is a restaurant located on Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina’s historic district. It’s a no-frills type of place that specializes in great seafood and quality service. Everyone who’s employed there—from the Hymen brothers who own the business to the busboys and dishwashers—work hard to uphold the excellent reputation that keeps customers coming back year after year. Attitude is so important at Hymen’s that the company policy, a piece written by Chuck Swindoll, is given out to everyone who comes through the door.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company. . . a church. . . a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. . . we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you . . . we are in charge of our attitudes. ~Charles Swindoll~
I keep my copy of Swindoll’s words near my computer as a reminder of the importance of having the right mindset in this industry.
Yes, even published writers worry. Will the editors like the next story idea? Will I finish my current work in progress on deadline? Is my writing improving?
In her book, THE ARTIST’S WAY, Julia Cameron talks about the negative voices that bubble up when we reach for the stars. “Why do you think you can write a book?” that voice taunts. “You’ve written one book, but can you write a second?”
Cameron advises countering the negative by writing positive phrases over and over again on a sheet of notebook paper, just as a child would do who’s been disruptive and has to copy I will not talk in class fifty times. The repetition arms us with ammunition to shoot down the negative inner rhetoric so positive progress can be made.
A Nike advertisement provides the following words of encouragement:
All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. They will tell you no, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. And you will tell them yes!
Frank Soldovere was a great man and good friend who worked hard to make this world a better place. Everyone who attended his funeral was given a card with the following passage by Theodore Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt~
Attitude is a choice we make everyday that gives us the courage to move forward with our writing career. People will tell us we’re crazy. The inner voice calls us a fool. Editors may reject our stories, but we remain focused on our dream, and because we believe in ourselves and in our work, we overcome the odds and succeed.
Attitude—the Write Attitude—makes the difference between someone who wants to write and someone who does.
Wishing you abundant blessings!