Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with Caitlin Thomson. Here‘s my previous post about Caitlin. She had such great answers to my interview questions, and one amazing/heartbreaking/eye-opening story that she shared with me. Unfortunately for you, I’m saving that one for the book. But, I will share with you some great words of wisdom she shared with me when I asked her how she deals with disappointment or discouragement along her creative journey. This is what she had to say:
When I was a younger writer I regularly made unrealistic goals in terms of my writing, mostly to do with publishing. In the last three years I have put a lot of effort into making goals for myself that are within my control. For example being traditionally published as a novelist within three years is an unrealistic goal. But submitting my novel to at least 5 agents within the next year is a realistic goal, because it is within my direct control. This has helped me from becoming discouraged as easily.
Whenever I find myself particularly discouraged I have turned to focus instead on creating something new – not editing something that exists already, not submitting, just focusing on the pure act of creation for a while. That for me is the most rewarding.
I think this is so important! Maybe her words really hit home with me because I am seeking to publish this book. But, I think this advice applies to anything really, not just writing. It only makes sense to make goals that are within reach AND within your control. It’s so common sense, yet a game-changer for me. And hopefully for you too.
I consider myself a goal-oriented person. I love a good challenge. Even better, I love a good checklist or list of tasks to accomplish. On the flip side of that, I find myself easily discouraged. BUT, maybe I’m setting my goals all wrong. So thank you, Caitlin, for (inadvertently) bringing this to my attention. Such good advice, and I think we all can benefit from it.
Thanks again to Caitlin for a great interview! Please check out her website http://www.caitlinthomson.com/ to learn more about her.