Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Three Keys to a Winning MIndset

By guest blogger, Jennifer Slattery

Over the years, I’ve watched writers come and go, some faltering others soaring, and I’ve discovered those who succeed have cultivated a winning mindset.

Our thinking determines our behavior, and our behavior determines our results. Or as Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” Therefore, if we want to be successful, we need to think like successful people.

Successful people embrace failure.

Writing is a journey of continual failure. We’ve all heard about award-winning authors who received fifty to one hundred rejections before landing their first contract. But few of us have heard about those writers who quit after rejection number forty-nine. Those people simply drift into obscurity, taking their broken dreams with them.

What if they were one rejection away from landing that big contract? They’ll never know.

Failure doesn’t end post release. To the contrary, the stakes simply get higher. I’ve heard of authors who’ve become crippled by negative reviews and poor sales. Because they’ve come to see failure as their enemy rather than their friend.

But then there are those who bounce back from every obstacle, recognizing failure isn’t a dead end but rather an opportunity to grow and learn.

Which leads me to my next point.  

Successful people are perpetual learners.

We all know we need to study the craft and attend conferences, but how well do we respond to constructive criticism. The other day, a new writer friend asked if I’d ever felt a critique partner’s comments were so far off, I ignored them completely. My response—no. I can learn from every piece of feedback, whether I agree with it or not.

Here’s what I’ve observed: those who respond negatively to constructive criticism tend to flat-line whereas those who embrace it tend to soar. Their skills rapidly improve as they begin to learn from others.

I’d rather receive harsh feedback pre-release than post. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything my critique partners say but I can always find a nugget of truth in their responses. And regarding the comments I disagree with—I simply ignore them and apply what I find helpful.

Successful people fight negative thinking.

Negative thinking is a waste of time. It hampers one’s creativity, saps their strength, and places them in a “defeated” posture. But we were called to so much more! 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. So what is Christ saying to you?

He’s saying, “I formed you. I planted the dream of writing deep in your heart and I am the one who has called you to this journey. I’ll go before you and I’ll walk beside you. I’ll open doors that no one can shut, and through you, I will make my love and grace known to a broken humanity. I alone will do these things. All you need to do is surrender, trust in me, and keep walking, knowing I will perfect that which concerns you.”

Which of these three mind-sets do you need to work on and what steps can you take today to cultivate successful thinking? Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas with us, because we can all learn from each other. 

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter: @Jenslattery
Breaking Free:Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. 

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Buy it:

See scene location pictures for Breaking Free on Pinterest 


Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

What a great post ... and how incredibly important. There are days I've definitely struggled with staying positive in the face of failure.

There are two types of critics who can bring a sense of failure: internal and external. Either one can leave us with a sense of defeat if we're not careful, but both are necessary and can help us on our way. External first:

Critiques are always difficult, but one thing that helped me was to get beyond them was to realize that, no matter how painful the feedback was to receive, I liked the end result better when I incorporated that feedback (I.e., it made my work stronger.) Sometimes it's tempting to ignore such advice, but even when I thought a critiquer's comment was out on left field, I could often find some inherent issue that tripped their trigger.

But the internal critic is often the worst: Instead of saying things like, "Your characters are flat," this critic may say things like "YOU are flat ... completely incompetent as a writer." Here's how I've dealt with that: On days I'm not sure I'll ever succeed, it's important for me to remember (1) I enjoy the process and (2) I've come a long way since I started writing. I can also see from experience that I have written some things that are relatively good. But the first point is the most important, because it applies even to the person who is just beginning their journey.

Thanks for the post!

Vince said...

Hi Jennifer:

So nice to 'see' you again...and so soon. I could not agree more with your message today.

Successful people turn the roadblocks of failure into the stepping stones of success.

Successful people know that as long as they are learning they are still green but once they've ripened they can only get rotten.

Successful people allow the Son to shine on their lives never allowing the shadows of negative thinking to find a home.

And perhaps most importantly of all: Successful people do by habit what unsuccessful people do not like to do. Success needs to become a habit rather than a goal or aspiration.

What I need to work on each day is making success a habit that moves me to forever let go and let God.


Melissa Jagears said...

Great post today. I needed to hear a section you wrote up. I even put it on a pretty picture and put it on my computer desktop.

If anyone else has all their icons to the left and would like a picture for their desktop, I thought I'd share:

Desktop Mountain Picture that says “I formed you. I planted the dream of writing deep in your heart and I am the one who has called you to this journey. I’ll go before you and I’ll walk beside you. I’ll open doors that no one can shut, and through you, I will make my love and grace known to a broken humanity. I alone will do these things. All you need to do is surrender, trust in me, and keep walking, knowing I will perfect that which concerns you.”

And bring on the hard critiques! If I give 'em, I better take 'em right? :)

And as Lara said "I could often find some inherent issue that tripped their trigger." That's SO true. For A Bride at Last, my publisher sent me a 12 page macro, essentially though they said they liked it, they really was asking me to change most everything. Yikes. But I didn't agree with the suggested changes so I analyzed the comments, what was the real underlying thing they didn't like and how can I fix it my way? Then I rewrote the whole book in TWO months....not the funnest, but we were all happy at the end.

Lyndee H said...

Great post, Jennifer.

I've had a very hard week, personally and professionally. It's been a week where I considered walking away. But people around me snapped me out of it with tons of unexpected encouragement. Then tonight my heroine found her voice on page 40 of my WIP. A true God moment when I realized that was what was happening.

I'd been struggling with every sentence, literally writing three words, then going to the pantry to look around, even though I know chocolate can't have babies...so there is no new chocolate in my pantry, but I had to look, just to get away from this painful story! Suddenly tonight, I ripped out dialogue that tied everything together...and no was chocolate involved. Only God answering my month of prayers. Oh, God is good!

Lyndee H said...

"...and no chocolate was involved."

And I am still very dyslexic and that comes out when I'm tired. Sorry for the typos. I proof read that last post four times. :)

Cindy W. said...

What a great post and I love what Melissa did for her desktop.

I tend to listen to negative thinking and my husband always has the right words to bring me out of it and it is usually Scripture. Sometimes it is hard to Let Go and Let God but I try to do it.

Many blessings to everyone and I pray that this last week of Speedbo all goals are met.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

This is wonderful food for thought.

Jennifer, good morning and thank you for being here! I agree with you, that no one makes it in this biz if they fight change... although like Melissa, I'm not against stepping back and examining an editor's thoughts and mine and seeing how we can twine them together to the story's advantage.

Learning to take advice and/or criticism is clutch. And that doesn't mean you're going to please everyone. You won't. You can't. Even God hasn't accomplished that particular feat, so for us to try is banging our heads against a brick wall.

I get a kick out of reviews that pour out their hearts about how if I'd just tried a LITTLE BIT HARDER, they could have given me a 5-star review... but alas! Four stars would have to do.

And that brings me right back to my thoughts that 5-stars is way overused... and I'm happy dancing with that four-star review! Thank you, reviewer! :)

I BROUGHT COFFEE!!!!! #desperateforcoffee

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lyndee, it generally takes me 30 to 40 pages of writing before I figure a story out... and then I rewrite the beginning. I do that all the time, I don't do outlines or cards or any of that sophisticated graphing and Scrivenering stuff... I just write until I begin to see the story direction....

And then I begin again. The glory of that is once I can visualize the nuances of the people, then the story flows and flows for me. Because now I know how they'll react. What they'd do in a given situation.

I love that this hit you like it does for me! YAY!!!!

Jill Weatherholt said...

Welcome, Jennifer. Thank you so much for this uplifting post.
As writers, we all experience the highs and lows...I suppose it comes with the territory. Last year, my writing journey was accelerated and it was all by the goodness of God. He gave me a gift, I never dreamed was in my reach. Going forward, I trust that He'll continue along beside and I'll listen to Him because He's the critic that counts the most.
Thanks for visiting Seekerville.

Jackie said...

Hi Jennifer,

Welcome to Seekerville! Congratulations on your new book, it sounds great!

I embrace learning and continue to learn more every day. I try to fight negativity and try to learn from my failures.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Caryl Kane said...

Good Morning JENNIFER! Thank for the encouraging post! Winners have a different spirit within them like Joshua and Caleb. I daily fight not to give up in persevering. Thanks again for sharing your words of wisdom.

Congratulations on your release of BREAKING FREE.

Please put my name in the drawing.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JENNIFER! Positive mindset--so important if you're to make it in this writing business for the long haul. Does that mean being happy, happy, happy 24/7, glibly bouncing along without a care in the world, never having a down day or getting slammed by the immensity of the challenges and hard work set before us? Nope. But just like you said, we can CHOOSE our attitude. It's not easy, especially when we're physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually drained. As you pointed out, though, God has a plan for us but we need to look expectantly to Him--and cooperate!

Wilani Wahl said...

Thanks for this timely post. I recently joined a critique group for the first time. I knew my story needed help and was expecting a lot of criticism what I did not expect was the attitude of the first critiquer. It was like she was so much better than me and I should know better than I did. I took a deep breath after feeling like maybe I don't belong with other writers and looked at her suggestions and knew she was right with them so went to work improving my story. The others that came in were also spot on, but with a sweeter attitude. I know I am in a major learning curve that is absolutely necessary if I want to continue in this journey. What was most encouraging was that one of the authors commented. "You have the bones of a great story." This told me I am on the right track and I will continue to work with it and develop. This is a story that flowed out of of my brain like it could not be stopped. I wrote 50K words in 17 days.

All of this could never have happened if I had not discovered Seekerville.

Jennifer congratulations on your release.

Sally Shupe said...

Hi, Jennifer!! This is a great post! When I was working on my English degree, my concentration was Literature. So, I got to read and write papers for my degree. I had several professors who would let you turn in a rough draft of your paper for feedback before the actual deadline so you could work on the feedback from the professor and then turn it in on the due date. I absolutely took advantage of this! Sometimes I found that the way I worded something didn't make it clear what I was trying to say. Other times, the feedback from the professor was invaluable in making my paper stronger. I was always anxious to get that paper back to see what the professor thought so I could start working through their comments. Much like when I submit something to a contest. I can't wait to work through the comments. Thanks for sharing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lara, we all feel that way sometimes... and remember, no one looks like a supermodel when they climb out of bed, it takes work to polish us!

Same is true with writing. Those edits and revisions are the polish that helps things shine.

And honestly, when folks made fun of my work, or contest judges totally dissed me (and that did happen), I ignored them

I listened to the critiques, but I don't let joy-stealers and naysayers run my life. Nope. Not gonna happen.

Because I know inside that I won't quit... So they can be as negative as they want, and I'll smile and nod and ignore them.

Being captain of our own writing ship means we've got the wheel and the North Star.

We're heading exactly where we aim to go!

Jeanne T said...

What a great post, Jennifer! Your words are spot on. And our mindsets determine so much. I've found the importance of being teachable from critiques and contest judges. There's always something I can glean from comments. Rejection from publishing professionals has been more challenging to overcome. I have discovered I need to give myself a little time to re-adapt and re-determine to keep pressing forward toward my dream of publishing.

When I've determined in my mind that I am going to do something, it gets done.

shortybear said...

awesome post.

Janet Dean said...

JENNIFER, thanks for this uplifting post! We're writing for God's glory so we should expect the evil one to try to defeat us any way he can. So we can look at those negative thoughts as evidence we're doing God's work and keep plugging away, improving craft, doing the best we can.

Your story sounds terrific!


jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com said...

Hi, Lara!

I love how you show the difference between constructive thoughts an the inner critic! Thanks for sharing that! Your comment on how to respond to (and emotionally deal with) critiques is very insightful. I think that's where our inner critic can be tempted to piggyback--when we receive constructive feedback, we can either use it to fuel our purpose or feed our insecurities. We fuel our purpose when we take our thoughts captive and center them in truth. We feed our insecurities when we listen to the lies that tell us we're not good enough, talented enough, etc.

Great thoughts!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Vince!

How fun to see you here. :) I love your thoughts, especially the one about ripened (fruit/produce/people) turning rotten. What a great word picture! I also love your mention of cultivating habits--so important! That reminds me of how many people say they want to write but claim they never have time. When I first made writing a priority, it felt near impossible to carve out writing time every day, but soon that became a habit. Now writing is a huge part of my life.

Mary Connealy said...

Good morning, Jennifer! Thanks for being on Seekerville.
A winning mindset.
I need to work on this.
This Eeyore thing I've got going ... has GOT to be getting old.

jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com said...

Hi, Melissa,

I love that JPG! Thanks for making it! What a blessing for all of us!

Wow, 12 pages! That had to make your heart race! My first substantive edits were 8 pages. When I shared them with my husband, he said, "I'm surprised they contracted your book." Oy. But in my case, the edits were completely warranted and I agreed with every one. But I was still pretty freaked out about them. I worried I wouldn't be able to make them, but before I allowed my panic level to rise to high, I reminded myself that God was sovereign, He'd opened the door to publication for me, and He'd help me walk through it. He did. :)

jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com said...

Oh, Lyndee, I am so sorry! That is so hard! Do you think lack of confidence is stealing your creativity? (I know that can happen with me. When my inner critic becomes too loud, my muse begins to hide.)

But how awesome that God is walking you through. I've found He always presents us with the solution to our story problems, in His way and timing. It's waiting on the latter that can be a kicker! That's where faith and surrender are needed most. :) And perseverance. I'm so glad, every time you're tempted to walk away from the call He birthed in you, that He keeps tugging you back. Praise God for encouraging friends!

Jennifer Slattery said...


I'm the queen of typos! No worries. :)

Jennifer Slattery said...


Encouraging spouses are such a gift! What a blessing your husband must be! And congrats on meeting your speedbo goals! That's awesome!

Jennifer Slattery said...


I think the emotional up and down journey of writing is made worse by the fact that most of us writers are inherently insecure, so we have to fight all the harder to maintain positivity.

That's awesome that God has and is continuing to expand your reach, and that you give Him all the glory for that. :)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Jackie,

Thanks for the welcome. I always love spending time here. :) Thanks for the kind words regarding my latest release as well.

It sounds like you have a great attitude!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Caryl,

I love the Joshua and Caleb analogy! Now, when I feel discouraged or insecure, I'll remember that biblical account and God's continual command to not fear. :) Thanks for that!

jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com said...

Hi, Glynna!

Amen to that! We have the risen, victorious Savior residing in us! If we'd but remember to tap in to that power daily then live in that knowledge.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Oh, Wilani, I am so sorry. Critique partners should have your best in mind. They should seek to help you grow, which implies also encouraging you. I'm so glad you found today's post and that God used it to encourage you. May He bring you encouraging and helpful crit partners you can trust and rely on. Sometimes it takes time to find the right partners.

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for such an encouraging post, Jennifer! I loved this: "...those who respond negatively to constructive criticism tend to flat-line whereas those who embrace it tend to soar." It's not easy for me to open the files from my writing partners or my editors. My heart goes into overtime, and my chest feels hollow. At first. But then, as I shove the voices of the Doubt Dragon aside and view the comments as ways to take my stories to a new level, a sense of excitement fills me. I've watched several stories improve as a result of incorporating spot-on feedback, so opening those files has gotten a little easier. I look forward to the day I look forward to diving into the feedback. It's getting closer. =)

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for these words of wisdom today, Jennifer! Every one of your points is a gem!

I can deeply relate to your statement, "Writing is a journey of continual failure." It was 25 years (and tons of rejections) between deciding I was going to do this writing thing professionally and the day I received "the call" offering me my first book contract (thank you, BARBARA SCOTT!!!!).

If not for the small successes--magazine story sales, contest finals, encouraging editorial feedback--plus the support of dear friends like my Seeker sisters (and lots and lots of prayer), I would have been among those who gave up too soon.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Sally,

How great to see you here! And what lovely professors you had! My daughter's in college now, and some of her professors are awesome and very responsive, others seem to be a bit MIA. But when she needs feedback on reports or essays, she normally sends them my way, which I love!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Jeanne T!

I love this, "When I determine in my mind that I am going to do something, it gets done." What a great example for all of us to "fix our eyes on what lies before us" as Prov. 4:25 says. (I love the intentionality of that verse.)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Janet,

You are so right, but greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. :)

Yvonne Weers said...

Thank you for reminding us that it's all about cultivating a winning mindset. Every one of us receives harsh criticism of our work at one time or another. I always try to give myself a few days to let things soak in, so I can see the criticism objectively before I respond to it. You're right in saying that every critique has a grain of truth to it. By giving ourselves a few days to soften the sting of harsh critique, we can begin to discern the things we need to work on.

Thank you for sharing today, Jennifer.

Yvonne Weers said...

Thank you for reminding us that it's all about cultivating a winning mindset. Every one of us receives harsh criticism of our work at one time or another. I always try to give myself a few days to let things soak in, so I can see the criticism objectively before I respond to it. You're right in saying that every critique has a grain of truth to it. By giving ourselves a few days to soften the sting of harsh critique, we can begin to discern the things we need to work on.

Thank you for sharing today, Jennifer.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Shortybear,

Thanks for the encouragement!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Mary!

Thanks so much for having me on the site! Though from what I know about you, your thoughts are victorious! (I so admire you, your diligence, and your perseverance!)

jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com said...

Hi, Keli,

I love your comment because you make an important point--it's not our first thought and reaction that derails us but rather what we choose to do with it. We can either feed the negativity until it swallows us or we can shake it off and get back to work. :)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Myra,

Barbara is such a wonderful woman! That's so awesome that she played a part in you staying the course. Small victories, like magazine publications, can be such morale boosters! As can great friends. :)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Yvonne,

Your comment on giving harsh feedback a few days to soak in reminds me of the verse that tells us to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to become angry. I have a tendency to react emotionally before giving my mind (and prayers!) time to catch up. This is an area I'm actively working on. Thanks for the great comment!

Jessica Nelson said...

Wonderful post! I need to work on all three. LOL These thoughts of mine...yuck! lol

kaybee said...

Hi Jen,
I was discouraged last week so this came at the right time. Of course, Satan doesn't want us to succeed, but it's hard to remember that when you're down. I was physically exhausted and that led to the downward spiral.
Interesting point about a crit partner being "off." I've had the same crit partner for 20 years, and I find it's become easier to take her suggestions and believe that they're right because we have built a level of trust. I trust anonymous judges to some level and I trust professionals when I win a free 5-page or whatever critique, but there's a whole different level of trust when you know the person. Also, she's good at structure and I'm on a learning curve, whereas I can spot a cliché or a weak phrase faster than she can. So it works.
Seekerville and Writers Alley6 are like lifelines to me, like who do you call when you're an alcoholic. I need to stay in constant contact with them (well, within reason, we all take Sundays off), so I can see that these are people just like me that have the same highs, lows and victories. I wouldn't still be writing if it were not for Other People.
Kathy Bailey
Coming Out of It In NH

kaybee said...

CONTEST JUDGES: 95 percent of the time they're right and I apply their feedback. Make that 98 percent. But you have to have a filter for when they're not.

kaybee said...

MELISSA is right. The best of all possible scenarios is when you make it work for you and your vision of the story. An editor/author, agent/author or judge/author relationship should be collaborative.
KB again

Vince said...

Hi Jennifer:

Your wrote:

"When I first made writing a priority, it felt near impossible to carve out writing time every day, but soon that became a habit. Now writing is a huge part of my life."

I believe your comment demonstrates the real power of an entrenched habit.

Before a habit forms you must motivate yourself to do a given task but after that habit becomes entrenched, the habit itself motivates you to act by making you fidgety and even causing withdrawal symptoms until you complete that habitual task. It's as if that habit has transformed your sweet encouraging muse into a naggy harridan who must be obeyed or life becomes miserable until you do.

I think this is why a well rooted habit has an almost narcotic power over us. It may also be why so often an writer will tell you: "I write because I cannot not write."

BTW: I've been trying to read your 33 page sample of "Breaking Free" but your flash version is too small for me to read. I can't make it big enough. I went to Amazon and the book does not have a "Look Inside" option. Do you have a way I can download a PDF version of these 33 pages? I find the theme of this book to be very interesting.


kaybee said...

WILANI, don't let a harsh critique discourage you. If you stick with it, you will find that MOST Christian writers are tactful, encouraging, and want you to succeed. Because they have the mind of Christ. Hang on to the good parts. We've all been there.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

Please enter me in drawing.

Janet Dean said...

JENNIFER, that's a great Scripture for our monitors. Thanks!


Janet Dean said...

MYRA, I think that Golden Heart win had to be a huge encouragement, too! You're a great example of perseverance. I thought I'd written seriously for a long time. Nine years is a drop in the proverbial bucket.


Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Great post, Jennifer. Negativity just has no place in the writing life. We all get down sometimes, but we can't stay there if we want to keep writing. Before I was published, I never said, "If I get published. I always said, "When I get published." Just that bit of positive thoughts kept me going.

Debby Giusti said...

Jennifer, such a wonderful, uplifting post. Perfect for Easter Tuesday! Loved your comment, "I’ll open doors that no one can shut." As I drew close to publication, I kept pushing on doors, not knowing which one would open. The visual of an open door is so powerful. "I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord! You added about doors that He'll never allow to close, which is lovely as well!

IMHO, the negative voice is the antagonist most of us fight at one time or another.

I've known too many talented authors who gave up when they were so close to publication. That's such a dangerous time. Probably because the writer realizes he/she's developed his/her craft and writes at a level comparable to published authors...so when the rejections keep coming, the close-to-publication writer thinks The Call will never happen. That's when determination and perseverance pay off!

I've brought chocolate bunny eggs and jelly beans for a mid-morning snack, along with our coffee and hot tea! So glad you could be with us today, Jennifer!

Kathryn Barker said...


Thanks much for this encouraging post! I am one who gave up for awhile...years ago...lots of excuses...ALL very valid!! I regret that I didn't dig in back then and overcome. I did continue to write, but not for publication. It's a comfort to know when the Lord puts a dream in our hearts He will lift us and stick with us!! I love this verse in Hebrews 12:2 that calls Jesus an author...."looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." He doesn't give up on us and we shouldn't give up on ourselves!!

Wishing you all a Tea-riffic Tuesday!!

Barbara Scott said...

JENNIFER, this is such a timely and inciteful post for all of us. Before I became a book editor, I was sooooo sensitive to criticism. The first time I received a detailed macro on one of my manuscripts, I think I threw myself across the bed and cried a couple of days. My inner demons kept telling me what a loser I was

I think that's why I was so careful to give encouraging criticism to writers when I became a book editor. You can critique a manuscript and point out places it can be improved without destroying the faith/confidence of the author.

MYRA, I always prayed before I contracted a manuscript. Let's give God all the glory for his guiding Holy Spirit! :)

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, JENNIFER!! And, WOW, what a truly inspirational post!! One I needed A LOT, today especially, so thank you!!

You said: "He’s saying, “I formed you. I planted the dream of writing deep in your heart and I am the one who has called you to this journey. I’ll go before you and I’ll walk beside you. I’ll open doors that no one can shut, and through you, I will make my love and grace known to a broken humanity. I alone will do these things. All you need to do is surrender, trust in me, and keep walking, knowing I will perfect that which concerns you.”

This is SO encouraging to me and SO very true! Keep walking -- just putting one foot in front of the other -- I can do that! :)



Marianne Barkman said...

Jennifer, I'm not a write, but I'm going to hold onto this post for those days when external or internal foes try to defeat me! Thanks. I'd love to win your new novel!

kaybee said...

DEBBY, it is discouraging when one is close to publication. It's because we're putting more effort into this and think, "Well, something should be happening!" When it's happening on God's timing. Sigh.

Mary Connealy said...

Yvonne, I always read through criticisms, even now with editorial reviews, then give them a while to soak in before I tackle any changes they inspire.
Use them for what they're worth, learn what you can, and don't let them invade your confidence.

Jan Drexler said...

Great post, Jennifer! And so appropriate!

Writers need to be like Bruce Willis in "Die Hard." No matter what happened to him, he kept going until the job was done. Until his goal was met. He didn't let anything stop him - even the shards of broken glass.

I would have sat right down and cried. No way would I have gone on after that.

But we all have our stopping point - like the 49th rejection. We need to recognize those and power through them if we want to be successful.

Thanks! :)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Jessica,

I'm so glad you found my post encouraging! Blessings!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Kaybee,

How wonderful you've found a lifelong critique partner. Good crit partners are worth their weight in chocolate! :) And I agree, networking and spending time with those who are on the same journey is so important!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Kaybee, contest feedback can be so helpful, can't it?

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Vince,

I'm sorry you've had such trouble accessing the free sample. You can download a free Kindle sample, or you can go to my publisher's website (New Hope Publishers), click on books, then fiction, then my title. Or maybe copy and paste the link to the excerpt in your browser?

Jennifer Slattery said...

Thanks, Janet. :)

Jennifer Slattery said...


Love seeing you here! :) I love your attitude. I remember you'd told me that, maybe even before I received my first contract, and it was very encouraging. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Jennifer. All well said. If you want to be a winner. Act like a winner. Amen.

Almost lunch here in Arizona. Bringing out the full lunch enu from Essence Bakery. Macarons for everyone. Yes. You are THAT special.

Tina Radcliffe said...

For Lara:

We romance authors don't know rejection. THIS is rejection.

Alex Haley writes for eight years and receives 200 consecutive rejections. His novel Roots becomes a publishing sensation, selling 1.5 million copies in its first seven months of release, and going on to sell 8 million. Such is the success that The Pulitzer Prize award the novel a Special Citation in 1977.

Want more? LitRejections

Missy Tippens said...

Jennifer, welcome! I LOVED this post and will be bookmarking it. It applies to so much more than just writing!

I think fighting negative thinking is where I need the most work. I loved your prayer so much that I've already copied it into my gratitude journal. So that's my concrete step! I'll be reading that often to remind myself. :)

Thank you so much for sharing it!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jennifer and welcome to Seekerville. What a great post and so appropriate for the end of Speedbo. For anytime really, but especially so for all of us who have either attained our goals or haven't. Stay positive anyway-right?

I'm a firm believer is being careful how you think because what you think becomes what is. I'm all for positive thinking and acting like a successful person. smile

Great tips and ideas. A keeper post for sure.

Thanks again for coming and have a fun day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Teeeena Macaroons for lunch????

Now that is just plain mean.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I haven't had a macaron in over a year....

Oh, I could eat a pile of them right now!!!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Debby,

I've known many great writers who've quit as well. I'd never thought about it like that but I imagine you're right. And I think it's also easy to grow tired; the journey to publication can be a long one!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Kathryn,

But you're back to writing now, right? Which reminds me of the phrase, "It's never too late to begin again."

I love Hebrews 12:1-2! We were just talking about that passage last night in Bible study and Paul ' s encouragement to throw off everything that slows us down. :)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Barbara,

No wonder you're such a sweetie! :) I had a tough time with criticism when I first received it as well. At the time, it came from my husband. I'd ask him his thoughts regarding a story then got upset when he honestly shared. Poor guy! But eventually my skin thickened.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Julie!

I'm reading one of your novels right now! How fun to read a comment from you saying you found something I wrote encouraging! :)

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Sandra,


Connie Queen said...

"Negative thinking is a waste of time."

I love this. It's so true whether you're talking about writing, gossiping/thinking ill about other people, or just plain ole' the-sky-is-falling mentality.

I had a good friend once that was a great writer. She had a great story and told it beautifully. She turned it in to a big publishing house and received amazing feedback. (Honestly, I felt she could've revised a little and resubmit it.) But after that she never accomplished anything more w/her writing. She didn't like negative feedback. At all.

Very sad and such a good waste of talent.

Jennifer Slattery said...

You ladies are making me hungry! :)

Pepper Basham said...

What a wonderfully encouraging post!! One we ALL need to hear!
Thanks for sharing it today - fighting negativity, being a constant learner, and taking failure as a tool for growth are GREAT reminders of how to view this writing journey (and life ;-)

Tanya Agler said...

Jennifer, thanks for the post. I constantly fight my negative thinking, and then I get into my manuscript and forget my negative thinking and try to make my work better.

Thanks for the reminder not to dwell on the negative. Putting that time into creating richer, more dynamic characters would be a much better use of my time.

And, yes, I keep Ruthy's ten tips on my desk: number 1 is stop whining.

Julie Lessman said...

JENNIFER SAID: "I'm reading one of your novels right now! How fun to read a comment from you saying you found something I wrote encouraging! :)"

WOW, Jennifer, and how "fun" for me that you're reading one of my novels right now, so THANK YOU!! I hope you enjoy it, my friend.


Jennifer Slattery said...

Good morning, Marianne!

I'm so glad you found my post encouraging. :) And best of luck in the give-away drawing!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Connie,

You are so right! Gossip is not only a waste of time, it's also incredibly destructive. Thanks for remind us that negate thinking encompasses more than how we approach writing and goals. That's so very sad about your friend. :(

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Pepper!

Thanks for taking the time to pop in and say hi. I'm glad you found my post encouraging.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Tanya,

Good for you! :)

Jessica Ferguson said...

I wonder if I slept through yesterday because I don't remember seeing this post. Good one! I'm a perpetual learner. Love all the how-to classes, books, blog posts, pod casts... and I'd go back to college today if I could. :) And I've been encouraging and coaching other writers for 40 years. However, while I can hep others embrace failure, I'm not the best at doing it myself. I'm not the worst either. I had a writer friend that cried every time she left her critique group. She ended up publishing about ten books and crying/complaining about her editors. Eventually she quit writing completely. She never had joy because of her negativity. I learned a lot from just observing her.

Lord save us from negativity because it affects everything we do, including our family and our health!

Sharee Stover said...

HI Jennifer!!! I'm late in commenting but absolutely loved this post! Rejection is never easy but I loved the way you talk about embracing it and going a level higher :)

Mary Lawson said...

Learned a lot from this. Thanks for writing it.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Jessica,

Wow, that is so sad! I especially love your statement about how your friend never had joy because of her negativity. That's such a powerful statement! We can either make ourselves miserable or embrace the joy in each moment. Thanks for that great thought!

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Sharee,

Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed my post.

Jennifer Slattery said...

Hi, Mary,

I'm so glad! Best of luck to you in your writing journey.

Edwina said...

Hi Jennifer,

Sorry I'm so late - but your post was excellent!