Have you ever wondered why some writers can face rejection with a smile while others cannot? Have you ever noticed that some writers deal with criticism graciously while others get all bent out of shape? Have you ever been amazed that some writers share their expertise freely while others are reluctant to help aspiring writers?
In each of these three instances, one common denominator stands out. Have you figured it out yet? It’s attitude. A writer’s attitude determines his responses toward other writers and toward editors, agents, and publishers.
Attitude is the way one looks at himself and at his world. For the writer, attitude is the way she looks at herself as a writer and the way she looks at her writing world.
Contrary to popular opinion, attitude is not determined by what happens to us. Attitude is determined by our response to what happens to us.
When you get a rejection letter, do you mope or do you hope? Moping will get you nowhere; hoping will get you sending that query or article out one more time. That one more time may be the acceptance time.
When your critique group points out something that needs addressing in your story, do you take it to heart or do you tear them apart? That critique may be what gets your story published.
When a newbie writer asks you for help or advice, do you pour it forth or do you horde it? That newbie may be on the verge of quitting and needs a little boost to go on.
Your attitude is usually quite obvious to those around you. When your attitude is upbeat, you make life easier for everyone, including yourself. But when your attitude is negative, you make life miserable for everyone, including yourself.
The wonderful news about attitude is that we can control it. We can decide the attitude we will take in every situation.
How has your attitude helped you or hurt you in your writing career? What advice would you give us for keeping a good attitude as we face the challenges of the writing life?