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The Power of Positive Thinking

(DISCLAIMER: For those of you who have gone through something as traumatic as cancer, I realize you didn’t wish such a thing on you or your loved ones. I am so not saying that at all. And really this might be a terrible example to go by just to prove my point, but it was a concrete example of negative thinking bringing negative results.)

I once had a friend (we’ll call her Mary) and she worried all the time about her health. She expected to get sick (and did) every time something went around the school where we taught together. She watched everything she ate. Only ate organic. Wouldn’t put her food in the microwave or even in plastic containers lest the chemicals leak into her food. She used raw suger and watched every preservative in every food. She told us  about every new study – what caused cancer, helped prevent cancer and would help you fight cancer. 

Last year Mary died of breast cancer at the age of 42.

So horrible and very sad because she was my friend. I know what you are thinking….HEY! This is supposed to be about the power of positive stuff in our life. Not f riends dying of cancer! Well, it is. Sorta.

You see, I thought about Mary and how she viewed her health. She focused on it way too much. She read about it. Talked about it. Expected it. She lent so much of her thought process towards cancer, that eventually she got it. Okay, I am a rational person. I don’t think Mary wished terminal cancer upon herself. But she certainly didn’t help herself by expecting to get it, by putting so much thought and energy in cancer.

So it made me think about Mary’s mindset. Or just a person’s mindset in general. What’s my mindset? What’s your mindset? Are you expecting the worst? Or the best?

You see, I’m going to be perfectly honest here. I knew I was going to sell a book. Just knew it. When my husband would say, “You may never sell a book,” I would say, “Sure I will.” Does that mean I’m prophetic? I wish. No, I just had set my mind on it. I knew I could do it. Didn’t know when or how, but I knew that I would. It was my mindset.

I went over and over the reasons why I would sell my book. I am young (mostly :)), I have talent (IMO) and I would not give up. I would go to conferences and network, pitch to editors and agents, enter contests, and get a critique partner. I would focus on my RWA chapter, run for an office. Help other writers when I could. And I would wait as long as I had to. If an editor told me my time would be better spent flying a kite,  I would say, “Sure. After I sell this book.”  If I stacked up three hundred rejection letters, I would say,”Need some kindling to start the fire, honey?” If random people asked “Have you sold your book?” I would say “Not yet.”

My mind was set. I would sell. Period.

I believe in the power of positive thinking. I believe in believing in yourself. I stuck to this motto – “If you can form it in your mind, you can create it in your life.” I told myself that time and again. Over and over. Until one day it happened.

So I encourage you to believe in yourself whether it pertains to your writing or your life in general. Put your focus towards being positive. Ignore the people who aren’t. I give you license to wear rose-colored glasses (or whatever color you prefer) and to think quite honestly that your writing is good. Heck, it’s great.

Expect to final. Expect to win. Expect the call.

Because there is nothing good about thinking the worst.

So tell me, how are you going to be more positive?


9 Responses

  1. I agree with what you’ve said, except about being young (I was 60 when I sold my first book) my mantra was practice, patience, persistant. I’m still using that as I try to finish my latest WIP. We, knew you would be published soon as well. You’re so talented, who could not miss your ability to tell a story with humor and pathos. The only difference in being young and old is that the young have more time to sell more. The old are fighting time. Luv ya, Sue

  2. Liz,
    So good to hear you’ve been able to maintain a positive mindset through your writer’s journey thus far. It’s not always easy to do, but it IS one of the few things you can control in this business.

    Take Care,

  3. Thanks, Ms. Sue –

    You’ve always been my biggest fan from day one. It really helps to surround yourself with people who believe in you too.

  4. You’re right, Winnie –

    The only thing you can control is your attitude in responding to things that happen to you. ANd I beleive that a good attitude is a pretty important in achieving success.

  5. I always try to keep a positive outlook. I’m a firm believer that your outlook will affect your life.

  6. It’s hard, but I try to think positive thoughts every time I feel like I’m heading into a rut.

  7. It is hard. There are so many things to bring you down – comments on contest entries, big ole Rejections, slumping book sales, piracy…I could go on and on.

    But still, I’d much rather be a glass half full kind of girl.

    Or, Keri, as it said on my cute little napkins at the retreat “Some say the glass is half full. Some say the glass is half empty. I say, ‘you going to drink that?'”

  8. I agree with Mrs. Sue. You have to have patience, and you also have to have faith that things will be okay. But you have to be prepared for things even when they don’t turn out to be the way you want. My favorite quote: “Acceptance is the key to all my problems.” And just because I accept it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I just have to go with the flow. And you could always try harder next time if you stumble and fall. 🙂

  9. I loved this post! 🙂

    “Expect to final. Expect to win. Expect the call.
    Because there is nothing good about thinking the worst.”

    I’m printing this out and reading it everyday!!!

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