Any of us who’ve been at this social networking & writing gig for awhile understand how pivotal it is to stay in the game. To keep on keepin’ on. This doesn’t mean we engage in the same ol’, same ol’. (See point about bringing the new below.) What it does mean is that we’re already creative folks. It’s worth it to pour some creative energy in how we go about this business. It’s about more than survival. I’m talkin’ eye of the tiger talk today.
I’m a fighter. I’m not sure I’ve learned to be this way because of some rough bumps along the road of life or whether I’ve just been blessed with a go get ‘em mentality. But when I feel called to something you betcha I’m going to float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee.
Here are eight ways I put up my dukes to fight off discouragement and maintain stamina in the publishing industry:
Adopt a Leader MindsetI’m not referring to ‘I will lead you and you will follow’ so much on this one, but rather ‘I will lead my thoughts.’ I will choose to keep a positive, hopeful outlook about the future. I will not let rejection defeat me. I will move forward one (hear Bob) baby step at a time if need be.
Regularly Assess Who You Are Writing For
This one should have flashing neon arrows pointing at it. I’ll never be able to speak to this enough. It matters. Who you write for matters. And your answer has the potential to motivate you, convict you, or deflate you. This stamina-builder in the form of a reflective question is swollen with potential for character growth. Your answer—who you write for—could chameleon-ize itself based on what’s going on with your career. Truth: You have the ability to reassign and reassess who holds the reins at any given moment.
Give Yourself a Break
People with ravenous cravings for Kit Kat bars aren’t the only ones who need a break. To rejuvenate, recharge, and reprioritize, there are times it’s imperative to slow down, unplug, live a little, and release.
Develop a Strong Support Network
Learn from the masters while laughing with your network—discerning what to let sink in and what to blow off.
Bridge May Ice in Cold Weather
In other words, keep cool. Don’t burn bridges—with anyone over anything. Gold baby: If you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut your pie hole.
Find Your Own Niche
Constantly Look for Ways to Bring the New
My family recently spent time on an Eastern shore spotted with jellyfish (also interestingly enough called stinging nettles). As my kids flopped and hopped around in the waves I stood guard, searching for the intriguing creatures. Like editors and agents, I had a set focus to locate jellyfish. We want to be like jellyfish without the sting factor. Our goal is to have professionals scanning the oftentimes murky waters of this industry, exhilarated with a rush of excitement when we come floating by. We need to swim with purposeful intentions, unafraid, while leaving the stingers of discouragement behind.
All You Need is Love
Love your work.
Love your readers.
Love your gift of creating.
Most of all stay cool! Any other tried and true methods of keeping your stamina in this industry?
*A few more lyrics for ya: “I’m gonna take this itty bitty world by storm & I’m just gettin’ warm.”