Monday, March 14, 2011

Don't Get Derailed!

From my earliest memories, I've traveled via train. Like anything mechanical or electrical, things go wrong. Trains go out of service or get stuck in a tunnel, making the trip an adventure. An hour journey stretches into a marathon.

Disappointment can mean a glitch in our writing journey or end our career. Fifty editors and agents may pass on our book. Submissions to periodicals are ignored or acknowledged with a form letter saying, "Thanks, but no thanks."

What determines whether a disappointment turns into a total disaster? One thing: our attitude. Thomas Edison endured many failures in his efforts to invent the lightbulb, but he pressed on and succeeded. He's one of many, who faced obstacles and overcame them.

I'm determined not to allow small disappointments to derail my writing dreams. I look at them for what they are: a temporary delay.

How do you fight the doubts when disappointment meets you at every turn?


34 comments:

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I had to research Thomas Edison for a children's book I wrote several years ago. He was quite a person, and talk about determination!

It can be hard at times to keep working on your dream. I tried for many, many years to get published. I even stopped writing for a while and finished my degree. But all the hard work and disappointments were worth it to see my first book in print. Hang in there!

Jessica Nelson said...

I think I'm similar. I'm disappointed but not disheartened because I feel like there's always another chance or a different way or another story...:-) It's never hopeless.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I know what you mean about viewing things like that as setbacks rather than career-enders.

We used to ride the train from CT to FL. often b/c my mom didn't like to fly and her family was in FL.

~ Wendy

Terri Tiffany said...

I try to tell myself that one setback isn't the end. Writing is so subjective and I have the power to keep on!

Karen Lange said...

I like that phrase - "a temporary delay". I heard a Christian speaker call setbacks stepping stones to where God wants us to be. You're right, it's all how we look at it.
Blessings,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathi -

Thomas Edison viewed every failure as an elimination process. He knew what didn't work.

Thanks for the encouraging words. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I'm starting a new project and have great hopes for it. What's that song? "Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again." :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy -

Failure is permanent only when we give up.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I cut my fiction teeth on my first manuscript. Although I'm still passionate about it, perhaps the story is for a future time.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

When I wrote this post I was standing firm. I didn't even know it was running today - a day when discouragement and life in general were getting me down.

I'm grateful the Lord has used my own words to give me a pick-me-up.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Marja said...

Thomas Edison was quite the guy, he never gave up and succeeded! Great post Susan, thanks fro sharing.
Personally I have a little notebook that I fill with quotes from famous writers, when needed I read them. One of my favorites is from John C. Maxwell: "Disappointment is the gap that exists between expectation and reality."

Nancy said...

I just tell myself that there's something good up ahead and I look forward to that. I have a little cheerful card that says, "It's comihg up." I get encouragement from that.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I see how fast I can go to the next submission or new story, to get the disappointment out of my system. I also ask myself and the Lord, "Is something wrong with my writing that I need to change?"

Rhonda Schrock said...

Knowing that He guides my steps helps me. If I didn't believe that so strongly, I would probably give up. It's only in His power that I can keep going.

Having friends like you helps me, Susan. God BLESS you, my friend.

Rhonda

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I don't give disappointment a chance to settle in. I try to move on to improving that same story or working on something new to make progress and grow and have a chance at the next step.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

Great quote! I like John Maxwell a lot.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

I try to remember the progress I've made over the years, including writing credits and improved craft. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Wow! All of you are giving such good advice.

Yes, I've been asking the Lord where I need to make adjustments.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

Aww, thanks! I'm glad I have supportive family and friends. We help each other along the way.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

Yes, going forward regardless of disappointment is important. Loss of momentum only gives rise to frustration.

Blessings,
Susan :)

DenaNetherton said...

Rejection hurts, of course. I hide for a day or two, nursing my wound. Then I get going again because God has called me to do this work and readers tell me that they are blessed by my words.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Dena -

Yes, that is the bottom line. No matter what we come up against we follow Him.

Blessings,
Susan

Faith Imagined said...

I really needed to read this Susan! I have to remind myself to keep a positive attitude and that God is in control.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

I'm glad it helped you, Alisa. You've certainly ministered to me many times. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Janna Qualman said...

Disappointment and doubt, oh my! They're tough to fight against, but when armed with encouragement and faith and a trust in this process with a will to go on, it can be done.

Thanks for your prop idea, Susan! You're right, that's especially important with kidlets.

Lynn said...

I do find disappointment hard to handle at times, and will hide so I do not need to face another. But life prompts me back in. I'm getting better handling the derailment!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Though my disappointments aren't happening in my writing at the moment, we all have to face them. There's another disappointing situation in my life and I do the same thing: just keep fighting the good fight and keeping the faith.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

You're welcome! It's away of engaging both their eyes and ears. You might also want to throw some texture and taste in the mix. Ask them to describe how a fuzzy pillow feels or a piece of candy.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lynn -

The temptation is always to withdraw and avoid hurt. Yet, the hurt will never be assuaged by quitting. Only coming through the challenges with God's help will erase the word, "rejection," from our hearts.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rosslyn -

Good point!

I'm facing difficulties in several areas. Giving up assures I'l never succeed, so I press on.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Seeing this train reminded me of our lunch date! Now that we're coming out of hibernation, dear friend, let's get together again.
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

I think the one where we had lunch looked a whole lot better! I've been thinking it's about time we get together too. Send me an email, and let's "talk."

Blessings,
Susan :)

Lynn Wallace said...

Thank you, Susan. Many things could have derailed me, but I am determined to keep going in the course God has laid out for me. It is not easy. I have one book out, and as I am not a technician, the train rolls slowly as I seek to promote my book.

Blessings,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lynn -

Good for you! I'll pop over to your place in a bit. :)

Blessings,
Susan