Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We're Number One! Oh, Wait...

Courtesy of MorgueFile.com
Last year, the Kentucky Wildcats were the number one seed in the NCAA tournament. This year? Not so good. They didn't even earn a seed in the tourney. As I type this, they're playing the first round of the NIT (National Invitation Tournament). Despite the setback, Kentucky fans are loyal. We're not called the Big Blue Nation for nothing.

But this post isn't only about basketball, it's about successes and setbacks. If you're a published author, you know the excitement of getting that contract, of seeing the final version of your book, whether in print or digital file. Images of great reviews and high-ranking Amazon sales dance in your head. (Okay, maybe not all writers feel this way, but I'm probably not too far off the mark.) :-)

In the world of basketball, a win can boost the players' confidence, make them feel like winners because they are. But what happens when the next game results in a loss? Or when a writer gets a rejection from a publisher, a bad review, or lackluster sales?

How do you bounce back?

First, realize that not every game nor every book is going to be a "winner." And you learn from mistakes. Coaches and editors advise their players and writers to be the best they can be. Take the advice of your editor and beta readers and use it to help you become a better writer.

Next, give yourself time to deal with any setbacks. After all, we're only human. We're not perfect, and we experience a myriad of emotions. What's important is not letting these emotions rule you for too long, otherwise, they can eat at your confidence, and perpetuate that vicious cycle.  

Finally, most important, get back into the game. Don't let a loss or rejection set you back. Persist and keep telling yourself that just because you didn't succeed this time, doesn't mean you'll always lose. The next winning game brings a team closer to a championship. Another accepted manuscript helps a writer establish a back list.

Now, back to the game...

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