The list of things I (still) screw up is epic. Epic, I tell you! Some of it has already been posted by others. I spell things wrong on occasion–many occasions. I can’t, use a comma,,, correctly, to, save, my life. (That was a joke, peeps). And no matter how many times I look it up in grammar reference sources, I still don’t completely understand the rules of when to use “who” or “whom” and “lay” or “lie” and some of the uber-confusing grammar rules in the English language. I’m dumb, you can say it…but at least I admit it.
Instead of things I screw up while writing, I’m going to talk about how I screw up by jumping to conclusions. Or–better said–not taking that extra minute to take a step back and CHILL OUT before getting worked up over nothing (or something).
Example 1: I’ve told you the story of when I received my first critique. The one I polished for three years. The one where the critique person said it was the worst book they’ve ever read and I should scrap it and start over. I responded by: crying, swearing, dragging the manuscript to the trash and vowing to NEVER write again.
Drama Queen in the hizzouse.
About two weeks later–yes, it took me TWO WHOLE weeks to get over that–but I did. I dragged the manuscript back to my writing folder. Then I took a deep breath, opened up the e-mail again, read the comments in my manuscript and started over.
Example 2: You submit your manuscript to an agent or editor. And wait. You ask a beta to read your newest soon-to-be-Bestselling novel. And wait. You ask a fellow author to blurb your book. And wait. And wait.
We all know, there’s a lot of waiting in the business. To this day I still freak out and think the wait is because I SUCK MONKEYS. But it’s not. People are busy. Very busy. I know I’ve forgotten to answer an e-mail or Facebook message. We all want instant gratification. But it’s not possible. And you have to prepare yourself for that.
STEPS TO CHILL OUT:
Stop. Don’t fire off any crazy e-mails or empty the trash with your 80K manuscript in there. Seriously. Don’t.
Take a minute (or day…or days). Walk away. Cool off. Get a massage. See a movie. Enjoy life!
Think about it logically and rationally. Think about the why of something, don’t jump to conclusions. Ask a trusted friend for advice or for another way of thinking about the situation.
Come back to it. Take a look at the situation again, when you aren’t so amped up.
Make a decision after you’ve cooled off. It was probably nothing. But if you still think it’s something, act accordingly. In a professional, kind manner.
These Steps apply to “Real Life” too.
Example 3: Just because my husband works with a woman doesn’t mean he’s cheating on me. Just because there’s lipstick on his collar, doesn’t mean–OH HELL NO! That is one I will jump to conclusions about.
That was a joke, too. I’m a jokester. Have you guys figured that out yet? 😉 Write on!
Sophia Henry writes Heartfelt Flirty Fiction featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. DELAYED PENALTY and POWER PLAY, the first two books in the Pilots Hockey series from Random House Flirt, are available now at all major e-book retailers.