- Rejection letters – So you’re cruising along on your current WIP and you get the dreaded rejection letter. I could write a whole blog post on the different kinds, but they all have the same effect, the writing stops. What to do? Call, email, or text all your writing friends. Whine, complain, rant, have a pity party. Give it a day or two before you get back in the saddle. And yes, I do mean SUBMIT your work elsewhere. The only way to fail is to give up.
- Negative critique – You think your book is the best thing you’ve ever written and happily send it out to critique partners and contests. The results are not pretty. Why is it that we focus on the negative comments rather than the positive? Read the critique, set it aside, have a drink or some chocolate or both. Go back to it after it’s had time to settle. Look for the same complaints from more than one person. Make note of it. Take what speaks to you and will make your work better, let the rest go.
- Family drama – I don’t think this needs much explanation. We all have it, and we all have to deal with it. The truth is your family comes first. Even if you can’t write, read. Stay in writing mode. Think about your work, look up pictures of your hero and heroine, or fill out GMC charts. This way, when the opportunity presents itself, you’re ready to rock!
- Health issues – You are literally so ill, or in so much pain, that the last thing you want to do is write. Again, do what you can, even if it’s just watching movies or shows on TV. You can pick apart the story structure and think how it applies to your own work. And, you can people watch. See someone who would be a great character? Write it down, figure out where they fit later.
- Fear – The most insidious and the hardest to combat. This can stop you cold. If you don’t write, you don’t have to submit. If you don’t submit, you don’t have to face rejection or critique. The only way to defeat fear is to face it, head on. Fear is never going away, but we can face it with courage.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain