Monday, January 14, 2013

These Things We Pass Along

Hey guys!

Did anyone else know there were people on twitter that weren't writers/publishers/agents/interns? What do they do? Okay, I knew that, but still. It's baffling.

I'm working on my patience and attitude these days. Querying has a way to burn the best attitudes, and I surely don't have the best. I actually really enjoy querying. It's exhilarating. But it is still a process that can beat me down, just like anyone else.

I was down at work one day and my boss noticed (whoops, check that shiz at the door, ya'll). He said "Happiness is a state of mind. You can chose to cross that state line anytime." He went on to explain how, while it's normal to feel down and all that, we have the power to choose how we let things affect us. Natural reactions to rejection are anger, sadness, discouragement, etc. But we can chose to find another perspective. We can decide how we let things affect our lives. This is what I'm working on as I continue to query. It's working. Sort of.

It's kind of a process. You have to first recognize when you're letting things get you down. Sometimes it sneaks up on you. And then you have to change your way of thinking. That part is even harder.

HA! "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow" just came on my Pandora Station. Fitting? Funny. (It's an Alison Kraus station btw...so shut up.)

Anyway, my boss is just full of wisdom he likes to pass along, and I'm happy to take. On the rare instances I've opened up with him about writing, he asks me what I'm doing to progress. Each time I make the mistake of saying "I'm trying to get an agent right now" (we have only talked about it a few times this past year). And he gets this look. It's hard to explain. It's like an "awe, poor thing" face. He says trying is a backdoor word. In reality, you're either doing something or your not. When you add "trying" on to anything you're doing, you're giving yourself an out, an escape, an excuse.

This is true, isn't it? Think how often you "try" to do something, fail, shrug, and give up. "Well, I tried, so it's okay." "At least I tried". How often have we had that pounded in our heads? But most of the time, I'll admit, with things I've given up doing, I may not have done the best I could have. I tried. But I didn't go all out for it like I could have. Trying is like driving with your parking brake engaged. Holds us back.

Can we stop trying and just do that shit? Can we change our attitudes and not let things be so crushing to our lives? Sure! Lets.

Happy Monday!


16 comments:

  1. There is no try, only do!
    And I have to give credit to Yoda for that one.

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  2. I never thought about "trying" that way, but it does make a lot of sense. I think 2013 should be the year I DO things, and not just try. Thanks, Colene!

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  3. Your boss sounds like a very wise person. My only additional advice is when it comes to writing I try to do it without any regrets. That means different things for different people, but for some reason its very comforting to me.

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  4. Trying is like driving with your parking brake on. I love that. I have to admit to myself as well that I often say to my kids "try your best", but I'm not sure I always do. Do I try my best to work out, eat right, and write. (probably not). So can I really expect the best results if I'm not giving my best effort. Thanks for your post, very enlightening today.

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  5. AWESOME reminder, Colene! I love it! It's not just querying that can get us down. It's every aspect of this process. But I love that state line advice. I'm crossing it~ :o) <3

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  6. Great advice, Colene. Now if only I could try to listen ;p Seriously though, we need to kick that word to the curb.

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  7. Most days it's easy to ignore the negative. Some days I'm just too tired. LOL.

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  8. great post! it's a very "trying" post. :D i don't know, i always give a try but end up just saying in my head if i decide rather to go for it, my head is more in the game. new follower, hi!!

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  9. I know what you mean. I think it's part of the reason why I queried so many agents at once.

    If they all say no, at least I don't have to wait for years about it. I do believe though, that someone will say yes.

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  10. Your boss sounds like a wise person. Completely agree with him.

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  11. SO true... We must rephrase and say LOOKING for an agent... Now that has a positive ring to it!

    GOOD LUCK querying Colene... You are in FINE company!

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  12. Good luck querying Colene. Your boss sounds wonderfully encouraging.

    Whenever I say/think the word "try", Yoda pops into my head. The wee little green freak is down right annoying sometimes, but he gets his point across.

    BTW, glad you are back!

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  13. Wise boss! It's hard sometimes to check the attitude at the door, whichever tude it may be - as writers we tend to wear that shiz on our sleeves. I know you're impatient, but you've got some good stuff in the works. Hold on for one more day (as Wilson Phillips would say).

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  14. Woohoo! Wait, did someone up there say Yoda is annoying - no way!! Hmmm, I guess instead of saying we're trying to get an agent, we can just say we're continuing to write lots of kick-ass stuff :)

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  15. That's cool that you have a boss you can learn from and apply it to different aspects of your life. And a great reminder not to let things get us down! I needed that today!

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