Being a writer can often feel like living on a rollercoaster, with huge hills and dips around every curve. Writer’s block, rejections, low sales figures, pirated books, and other bad news can make us feel heavier than gravity itself. We might wish we could sink through the floor and disappear.
On the other hand, good news—plot breakthroughs, contest wins, publishing contracts, great reviews—can make us feel like we’re going to float right out of our body. We live for days like that.
Or do we?
Note to Self: Good News Doesn’t Cause Bad News
I’ve stated before that I’m a Pollyanna kind of person by nature. I don’t focus on the bad stuff. Instead, I tend to look for the good in every situation.
But when good news—and I mean really good news—comes my way, the self-doubt kicks in. I wait for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop. I wait for the bad news that will “even out” the good. What goes up must come down, right?
This worry frustrates me because it keeps me from really enjoying my good news. Too often, when my initial shock at the news wears off, my mood skips the happy, giddy phase and goes straight into the little voice of “it won’t last.”
I wish I could just enjoy good news for what it is. It is good news, not a promise that it will last forever. And yes, there will be bad news at some point in my future. Duh. But one doesn’t cause the other, so I should enjoy the good news while I can—for however long I can.
Self-Doubt Can Prevent Us from Enjoying Good News
I suspect I’m not the only person with this problem. Given the typical self-doubt among writers, there are probably plenty of us who think any good news is a fluke and not to put too much stock into it. That self-doubt can even make us think that bad news is deserved and good news is luck and luck alone.
But bringing ourselves down accomplishes nothing except robbing us of our good mood. It doesn’t “inoculate” us against bad news. It doesn’t make bad news any less bad or less painful to take. Bad news still sucks and always will.
So we shouldn’t not enjoy our good news. Most of us know this already, but logic and emotions aren’t always on speaking terms.
We can’t erase the past for when we stole our good mood away before its time. But maybe we can revive some of those happy vibes by sharing our good news in the comments. Whether you figured out how to fix a sticky plot hole last week or received a great review last month, think about what deserves more recognition in your happiness meter.
My Good News (Note to Self: It’s Not a Fluke)
A couple of hours later, I received word that one of those six finals turned into a First Place win in the Winter Rose contest. Double yay!
Then an hour after that, I received the score sheets from that final in the Laurie. Three judges. Three perfect scores. *jaw drops and head explodes*
Perfect scores just don’t happen that often in writing contests. Before then, I’d received one perfect score last fall and a second one last month (in that Winter Rose contest I later won).
Now to receive three perfect scores? From all three judges? I must have double-checked those score sheets at least four times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I wasn’t. Those scores were real.
And that much good news in one day was more than my writer brain could handle. Cue the entrance of my denial and self-protection mode.
We Need to Believe in Ourselves and Not Fear Good News
My self-doubt didn’t want to believe what those scores meant. It was easier to think it was a fluke. My self-doubt would rather punish me by taking away my good mood. I even tweeted: “I want to push the pause button before any bad news comes in.” Sure, there was an LOL after that, but the fear was real.
We need to beat back that fear. We need to shut up that self-doubt long enough to enjoy our good news. We need to believe that good news comes not just through luck that will randomly abandon us, but through hard work. And we can hope that hard work will result in more ups than downs on the rollercoaster of our life.
In short, we need to believe in ourselves, our skills, and our ability to make our own luck. Good news isn’t a fluke if we’ve worked for it.
As a side note, I’m calling myself done with entering contests for unpublished authors. I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of contests I entered last month, but after that, there’s nothing else “contesting” can do for me. I need to get over my self-doubt and accept that this story deserves to be published, some how, some way. *smile*
Has good news ever made you worry? Do you fear that bad news is deserved and good news is simply luck? (And if you’ve overcome this problem, share your advice. *grin*) What’s something good that’s happened to you lately? What can you do to hang on to that happiness or celebrate?Pin It