Marlene Bagnull in her column, "Write His Answer" (July 12, 2013) had some much appreciated advice. She gave a name to the doldrums many of us experience this time of year – The Deadly D’s. I saw myself in some of her categories; perhaps you will too.
As a writer, you are familiar with this one. He is a constant companion. His aura is there when you check your email or go to the mailbox. Disappointment taunts and questions our talent. We wrangle with it when our manuscripts are rejected. Or worse, when they are accepted and killed in the editor’s final cut. Disappointment has a cure. It’s called: Open a new file and start on another project immediately!
If disappointment lingers for very long or you torture yourself with reading rejection slips, disappointment’s brother, doubt, takes a foothold. Counter attack with a big glass of inspiration accompanied with a walk, a massage, or a healthy dose of reading your published prose. You will be amazed at yourself and then tackle something new – like haiku.
Constant introspection (aka navel gazing) always leads to discouragement. Others get published. We smile and say congrats and go home and pour salt into our unpublished wounds. We ache for a taste of success. Understandable, however it is unhealthy in every realm. For inspiration read about famous people who experienced multiple failures before succeeding: Edison, Einstein, Dr. Seuss, Marie Curie, John Grisham, and the list goes on. Believe in yourself and keep writing.
Do everything you can to avoid this Deadly D. It is perhaps the most deadly of all. This insidious pest will deposit venom in your writer brain and poison your creativity, shake your confidence, and shush you into the writer’s block from hell. This is where your support group and/or your writing partner are invaluable. It is therapeutic to confide in another writer who understands your frustration with the publishing process. Each of us is on a different rung in our climb to writing success.
SWA takes seriously the motto: Writers Helping Writers. For twenty years, I’ve never called upon a member for help when they didn’t respond. Fellow members have edited, given advice, shared information, and assisted me in countless ways throughout my writing journey. Faithful friends plus a will to succeed will keep the Deadly D’s at bay.
~~Sheila S. Hudson
Sheila's work appears in Chocolate for a Woman's Soul series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Patchwork Path, From the Heart, Vols. 1 & 2, plus numerous periodicals including Costumer Magazine. She established Bright Ideas to bring hope and inspiration through the written word. Sheila has also served as president of Southeastern Writers Association.