Thursday, October 15, 2015
TBT: Attitude - You Gotta Have a Good One
This year has been tough. Amazing, but tough. It's only Oct and I'm already reflecting on the craziness - so, yeah. But one key element has remained constant throughout all the up's and down's of school, writing, and Day Job. In fact, it's the one and only thing I can control - my attitude.
For today's TBT I'm sharing a post from my Day Job series: Attitude - You Gotta Have a Good One. It was fun to re-read this post (man, I miss 30Rock - I loved Liz Lemon). I hope you like it too.
Life is a biotch, sometimes. None of this 'life can be a biotch' or 'is occasionally a biotch'. It is a biotch, sometimes. Sometimes there's no cake.
Or worse, sometimes you get stuck with a big, clunky cliche when we want fresh, original words. Pretty much everything in life is outside of our control, with one, little exception: you.
You can control you. In fact, it’s the only thing you can control. So that means the only thing standing between you and the life you want to lead is you.
It’s a hard pill to swallow. And this pill isn’t a one-and-done sort of thing. You gotta swallow this giant, horse-pill-of-truth Every. Single. Day. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes more. Sucks.
Or does it?
I think Liz Lemon would agree that the only thing within our control is our attitude, actions, and reactions. Get a rejection? Get back to work. Get laid off? Make the most of it. Get promoted? Be thankful. Work with jerks and A-holes? Find a new job.
You may remember a recent post where I mentioned the need for elephant-thick skin in life, and especially in writing. I think this goes hand in hand with attitude.
I was recently reminded of this when I was laid off from the Day Job. It’s easy to fall into a self-deprecating shame spiral when bad things happen. Get laid off, shame spiral. Get a rejection, shame spiral. Gain a few pounds, shame spiral. Just a normal week in the life of this girl. I certainly felt pretty crappy for several days after getting paroled form Corporate America (see my post here in which I wear my sad-girl, Goose Sweatshirt).
It's okay to indulge for a little while. Heck, even Liz has her night cheese.
But feeling bad for yourself doesn’t change anything. Wearing my Goose shirt wasn’t going to get me another job. It certainly wasn’t going to help me finish my WIP. Or my edits. And it certainly wasn’t going to clean the house.
The challenge in writing, as in life at large, is to see the opportunity in each difficult situation. Or as this quote eloquently states:
“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter
How can I make the best of this? Notice I said ‘How can I make the best of this’. Not, how can they make this better for me. Not, how can he/she make me feel better. Not, they owe me.
What can I do to improve? Because that’s all there is. I. Me. Alone in this quest toward publication. I have teammates supporting me along the way but I have to do the work. And believe me when I tell, this sumbitch takes a lot of work and I’m happy to do it.
I’m excited to hit new milestones. I’m excited to learn and grow – even though growth hurts. In difficulty, there is opportunity. And I’m wearing my big girl panties and matching bra. I’m ready for it. *pulls on shit kicking boots* Bring it on.
Need more on how our Day Jobs can make us better writers?
Check out this post about taking criticism.
Or this post on Stability and Creativity.
Or this post on Discipline - you gotta have it.