Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Life of a Writer: Dealing with Disappointment

If you follow this blog you know I’ve been running a series of posts about how your Day Job, or DJ as I call it, can make you a better writer. So far we’ve covered everything from how your DJ can inspire you to build complex worlds to how the DJ can reinforce the discipline needed to actually finish that gawd-dernd-draft.

But today I’m not talking about something so pretty. There are some dark and dirty things the DJ can teach you. I need to talk about something very real, and a little emotional.


As writers disappointment or rejection lurks around every corner and plot turn. Some might say this industry is cruel but I think it’s clever, really. I mean writers as a general rule are a sensitive lot. Forcing us to go through the publishing equivalent of the Hunger Games for the top prize of an Agent or book contract will certainly weed out the disappointment-adverse writers leaving more Agent’s for the rest of us.

What better way to prepare for the barrage of disappointment waiting for you in the pub world than a trusty ol’ DJ? The DJ is also ripe with disappointment. DJ disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes:

Maybe a coworker throws you under the bus during a big meeting. Maybe your office manager replaced the coffee with hot tar from the parking lot. Maybe that masterpiece of a spreadsheet you worked on for three hours vanishes without a prayer’s chance in hell of getting recovered.

Whether you’re getting a crappy review from an absentee boss, losing the big account to a competitor, or getting laid off, the DJ is a great place to hone the skill of recovering from disappointment.

A thick skin and stubborn, ‘never-give-up’ attitude can take you far in life.

Do you have a thick skin? How did you get the ‘never-give-up’ attitude?

Want to read more about Disappointment? Try this post by FinerMinds.

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.

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