Let me give you the gist. Ashley Graham is successful model. She's a size 14. Some sadists call her "plus size." Fashion people told her, "You'll never be a model," "You're too fat for the clothes," and "You'll never be on a magazine cover."
They were wrong. They were so, so wrong.
Instead of listening to the denigrating remarks and sabotaging herself, Ashley either got naked or in her granny panties and her bra, looked in the mirror and told herself three things:
It made me think about the self-sabotage we do to ourselves as writers. What if we sent ourselves an affirming message every day? What if we silenced the negative comments we fill our own heads with? What if we stopped fixating on the criticism we get during feedback?
Don't get me wrong. I love getting constructive feedback. Recently, I sent my NaNoWriMo from 2015 (a steaming turdpile) to a poet and blogging friend, Shay Simmons. She told me what every other writer friend had told me: One story line is interesting. The other one? Not so much... (which translates into "You can smell this manuscript from a thousand miles away... and it ain't a good aroma, neither.")
However, after I licked my wounds and
ate lots of milk chocolate and mashed potatoes (not together, of course) refocused, I set that project aside to gather dust forever: you're welcome, world to perhaps someday reexamine it... and then I moved forward on a different WIP.
Not getting a response from the markets I usually submit to means bad news. Chicken Soup for the Soul and Sasee only respond when they're interested in publishing something, so when months have passed and I've gotten no email, I momentarily start the self-doubt train. Maybe I should stop submitting to them altogether? Why waste my time sending pieces to them? What was I even thinking, sending them a submission? After all, they don't like my stuff anymore.
What if I looked at myself in a mirror and told myself things that would help (not hinder) me? What if I filled my head with messages like:
I am a talented writer.
I am working on something that has loads of potential.
I can and do craft clever phrases.
I embrace revision and remember it is a process... Sometimes the product is a long time coming.
I write on a regular basis. If I miss a day here or there, I refuse to beat myself up over it.
I make readers laugh/cry/reflect.
What if you looked in the mirror and built yourself up through self-affirming messages... What would you say?
Sometimes-Self-Doubting minds want to know.
Sioux Roslawski is a self-doubter (sometimes) but a hopeful writer (most of the time). She teaches middle-schoolers full time and in her spare time dreams of someday having a book published. If you're curious about learning more about Sioux (are you really that brave?) you can check out her blog.