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Negative Nancy

The blog has been feeling a little angsty lately, no? Is it just me? Either way, today I figured I might as well touch upon that subject near and dear to my heart: negativity. It’s something we face each day, and Lord knows I’ve dealt with it in my time here. Rejections, bad reviews, and everyday blunders and bumps in the road leave us all open to negativity. It feels very familiar at times, and it’s pretty easy to be hard on ourselves and allow the things others say affect you. We’re all guilty of it.

So what’s my point? The point is that while I see the reason for your negativity, and while I get why you feel like being hard on yourself, try not to be. Everyone’s favorite agent/author/blogger Nathan Bransford said it best: Don’t complain about negativity.  Maybe you’ve received your millionth form rejection letter or some cutting criticism about your novel. But you know what? Just keep going. Don’t waste any time getting hung up on the harsh words or shoulda/woulda/coulda. Push through it, be strong, and things will become clear. Otherwise, why bother?

12 Responses to Negative Nancy

  1. Awesome insight, Stephanie! And just what we all needed to hear today! Thank you so much for bringing back the positive! :)

  2. Paula B. says:

    Excellent point, Stephanie! And why is Nathan everyone’s favorite? Because he’s so positive all the time!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Nice encouragement!

  4. Kay Elam says:

    Thank you, Stephanie. This is a nice reminder. I think when we are in a negative phase it is reflected in our work.

  5. Melissa says:

    I love Nathan Bransford! He has the antidote to every Negative Nancy along a writer’s journey. Usually he says what I already know in my heart; but wow–that man speaks with conviction.

  6. Stephanie P says:

    well said

  7. I see the last post in my reader is more on the positive side as well, so maybe things are turning around.

    But yup, I agree. Negativity shows through if one lets it fester. It’s a waste of time as well. Get it out of your system and then do something about it. If you’re getting rejections, keep writing so you can improve your skills. If you get a bad review, think about how you can do better on the next book. Apply this philosophy to all areas of your life, and realize dwelling will only drag you down.

  8. Ryan Field says:

    I find not caring works best.

    It takes a while to reach that point…sometimes years. But sooner or later if you’re in publishing long enough you really do stop giving a damn about the negative and you do focus on the positive.

  9. Tif says:

    Thank you! I needed to read this today!

  10. Lorelei says:

    Tell it to John Kennedy Toole.

    No, sorry, but my point is that you don’t want milquetoast characters, and you can’t insist on milquetoast writers. Nor can you insist that grown adults change their personalities. You can’t tell someone that painful events like the rejection of work that means a lot to us shouldn’t hurt so much. To do that I’d have to cease caring about writing entirely. Negativity? I’m negative about some of the things that happen along the bumpy road of publishing because some of the things that happen on that road suck.

    I know I’m making a bigger deal of this than was intended, but I try to imagine anyone telling Norman Mailer or William Styron or Doris Lessing to not be so negative. Feels a bit infantilizing suddenly. I create, I have my ups and downs along the way, and I’ll feel about that however I please.

    There, I’ve been negative in a public place where people can see it. Shocking!

  11. Its better to experience the negativity than not to. If we don’t put ourselves out there NOTHING will happen and in my opinion, that is far worse than to feel a little down every now and then.

    That’s the attitude we should have. Did it go our way, no. But will we be better for it? Probably. At least we should if we keep our chins up and pull out the constructive parts of the rejection.

    Thanks for the great post Stephanie.

  12. I’m never negative, but sometimes I feel I’m misunderstood by cockeyed optimists.

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