Oooooooooooooh my goodness, what do I want to write about today? "O" is one of those tricky letters.
O is also for...
I feel like you have to be a bit of an optimist to be a writer. You lay out so much of yourself in your writing and then you want other people to enjoy it, which is a bit like wanting people to like you and your word babies.
Every time you send out a query letter, contest entry or short story, there must be at least a part of you that feels optimistic about it, or you'd never send it, right? The optimist in you has visions of publication, rave reviews, maybe even riches, as well as a large readership.
The optimist in you may look with hope upon the more prolific writers who have found that automatic acceptance that comes with having about a bazillion books in print that always end up on the best sellers' list. Who doesn't want to be there? That is the very epitome of being liked and accepted, and therefore a successful published author.
Right now, the optimist in me is working overtime as I prepare my novel and myself for (hopefully) publication some time in the near future. I'm optimistic that I will do well in the Colorado Gold. I'm optimistic that I will find an agent and, shortly thereafter, a publisher. I'm one of those people who looks too far ahead, who gets ahead of herself and makes plans for the things she sees eventually happening. I can only hope that being optimistic pays off in the end, rather than turning me into a bitter pessimist.
Do I still have all sorts of doubts assaulting me from every direction? Of course. I just try to shove them away, pound them to a pulp in a true Pollyanna fashion, distance myself from them. I can acknowledge they're there, but I don't want to lend them power by paying attention to them.
Every little once in awhile, though, the pessimist in me rears her ugly head and does mighty battle with the optimist. Today was one of those days, as I sat polishing my first 20 pages and synopsis for the Colorado Gold. I had to tell myself that the worst that could happen would be not placing at all, which is entirely possible. If so, so what? What harm does it do me? Well, aside from the harm to my self esteem, it doesn't impact me at all, nor does it mean I don't stand a chance. Part of me is freaked out that I made my intention to enter public, which means I have to make the results public, which means other people will know if I've failed. But then I consider how supportive everyone is, and surely it will be only a passing pain before I pick myself up and move on.
Over at the Chiseled in Rock blog, they had an article about taking a certain amount of time to grieve when a rejection came in, then immediately sending a new query out. I intend to set myself a goal like that when I officially begin querying (in May, hopefully), thus insuring I always have a backup and can pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. The pessimist has to be able to come out and get a little fresh air sometimes, but then she can go back to her cave and let me get on with my life.
Are you an optimist? Do you envision your success in whatever you do? What ways have you found of beating the pessimist within you down?