Good morning, friends, Nona Raines here. Welcome to the penultimate installment of the Nice Girls Writing Naughty A to Z Challenge! Today’s post is brought to you by the letter Y. As we reach the tail end of the alphabet, it becomes more challenging to choose words starting with those letters. But my word today is one of the first words we learn as children–the word “yes.”
It’s so easy as a writer to second guess oneself. Writing is a lonely activity and you often feel you’re banging your head against a brick wall. When your work is rejected by editors and agents, when you’re struggling to get reviews, or when just the goal of finishing a draft seems overwhelming, it’s so tempting to say “I can’t do this.” That’s when we need to gather up our courage and tell ourselves “Yes I can!”
I wrote for years–decades, really–but I was never able to finish a book. I had so many beginnings and middles, but no endings. Fear held me back. Maybe I was afraid of rejection–who would want to publish anything I wrote? If I never completed a book, then I never had to take that risk of hearing “no.”
But I wanted to be a writer. Time had passed and I knew I had to take the chance. I’d kick myself the rest of my life if I didn’t. So I committed to joining an RWA chapter and finally was able to complete a manuscript.
So while I’m not zooming up the bestseller lists and Nora Roberts has nothing to fear from me, I can proudly say that I have finished several books–and some people have even enjoyed reading them!
But you don’t have to be a writer to fall prey to negative self-talk. Everyone deals with difficult situations regarding family, jobs, or life in general when we just want to throw in the towel. “I can’t handle this,” we think. “It’s too hard.” That’s when we need to turn for support to sympathetic family and friends, but more than that, we need to be our own best friend. We need to say “Yes I can do it!”
So, dear readers, please share: what have you done or accomplished that you thought you couldn’t? When did you tell yourself “Yes I can?”
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