Clearing Skies

Carolyn Arnold
Published on: October 2012
Let's face it, no matter how hard we work at being a positive person, there are days we will meet with discouragement. Unfortunately, this emotion is a negative one which will drain us completely of our positive energy - if we allow it to. See, again we are in control. We decide how things, including our own emotions, affect us. So, how can you regain a positive outlook and combat the negative?
clearing skies,positive emotion
Resign yourself to the fact that you will have days when you feel down. These feelings can be in regards to your writing and/or impact, not only the writing community, but on your readers. These are the days that all you will hear are the negative things, or at least that's all your tainted viewpoint will pick up on. It doesn't even have to be a current criticism. For some reason, when you're discouraged your mind's able to regurgitate anything negative. And sometimes those negative thoughts are not even prompted from an external force. Sometimes they are just us pointing the finger at ourselves in a mocking gesture.

Prepare yourself. Let me ask you this: if you knew something was going to happen, would you prepare yourself for it? For example, if you knew it was going to pour rain, would you make sure your car windows were shut? If a tornado touchdown had been spotted, would you be on your back deck watching it head for you or bunker down into the basement?

You get the idea. If you accept that you'll have days when you'll feel low, then you'll be better able to handle them, dare I even say prepared. Maybe set aside a journal where you record all the positive things in your life. When it comes to your writing, if you received feedback from a beta reader, a reader, a polite query response, or a request for more material, dwelling on these things might help "snap" you out of being discouraged. Your journal may also include notes from other writers where they express appreciation for your support and how you touched them. By realizing that you do make a difference, it can be enough to lift you up.

Realize the positive that comes with being discouraged. Okay! That sounds impossible, but think about it. If you are in a discouraged state, you may look at your work more objectively. You might actually start to consider some valid criticism you were strongly opposed to prior. Of course, I suggest that you don't modify anything dramatically when you're discouraged, but maybe take a look at it.

Discouragement also can balance you with the realization that you are a part of a writing community. You are not alone, you have support. You're also not the first writer to ever feel the blues, and you won't be the last. Knowing that others have been there, are there, and will feel the same as you helps you know that you're on the right track. Discouragement is par for the course, as they say for writers.
Don't get bitter. Don't spread the "joy". Just because you may be feeling discouraged, or down about your own work, don't look to tear down others'. This accomplishes nothing but bitter feelings and a smeared reputation. Also, be very careful not to say anything that could be construed as negative about your own work in a public forum. It's surprising how the energy from a negative attitude can be sensed even across cyberspace.

Remember discouragement is only temporary. Just like rain, discouragement doesn't last forever. Sometimes, it can be as quick as a sun shower, while other times it can rain for a few days in a row. But no matter what, the sun will come out again, the clouds will part.

Hang in there! You may even feel better tomorrow!
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