This post first appeared in Seekerville on July 16, 2008.
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.
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
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.
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!
Seekerville will be giving away a copy of The General's Secretary, Debby Giusti's January release from Love Inspired Suspense, to one commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.