Do things ever go wrong in your life?
Of course they do. The death of a loved one is about as “wrong” as things can go.
Real tragedies aside, we all have things which go wrong every day. We cope as best we can.
Funny story. The other afternoon I was powering through my To Do List. My only excuse for what I did is that I was tired; I’d worked on several writing projects nonstop from 5 AM to 1 PM.
I breezed through my long list of tasks, ticking off items in Wunderlist as I went.
One task was: “Close this Web hosting account???”
I have several Web hosting accounts, and I thought I’d either sold, or moved, every website on that particular account. So took a quick look, and was sure that all the sites had been taken care of.
Without thinking about it too much, I closed the account.
With this particular Web host, once you close an account, all the websites on that account are GONE.
Fine, I went about my business. An hour later, our tech sent me an email message with an URL which returned a 404 “page-not-found” error message.
It turns out that one website on that account hadn’t been sold, or moved. It was just GONE.
I couldn’t help it. I laughed. I’d been feeling so good about myself, and was getting so much done, too.
There’s not much you can do, when things go wrong, except fix them, if you can. This particular mistake wasn’t huge. I had a backup of the site, so all I had to do was change the Domain Name Server addresses to another account, wait for the DNS to propagate, and then upload the website again. The site was online within a few hours. Not a big deal.
But what if things go wrong with your writing?
When things go wrong with your writing
Inevitably, things go wrong with our writing, too. A client you’ve been working with for years goes out of business. A magazine closes its doors. A book doesn’t sell.
It’s hard to laugh off things like this. It seems more personal. Sometimes things like this call your sense of self-worth as a writer into question. This is particularly true with rejections.
You won’t laugh easily when things go wrong with your writing. However, it will help if you can be philosophical about it. In my first few years as a writer, I received many, many rejections. Yes, the proverbial shoe-box-full. This was long before the Web. You either sold your book manuscript to a publisher, or an article to a magazine, or sent it out again.
It’s not funny when a day’s mail brings you five to ten large envelopes; each envelope containing a returned manuscript.
In those days, my routine for rejected manuscripts was to pack them up immediately, to mail out to the next prospect. Sometimes a manuscript came back coffee-stained and and crinkly, and needed to be retyped.
The first few rejections weren’t as shattering as they might have been… In those days, you expected rejection. After the first 20 or 30, you couldn’t be depressed, or disappointed. It was just business.
So, when things go wrong for you as a writer, realize that it’s just the way it is for writers. It’s business.
Focus on your writing. You can fix the things which go wrong, as long as you keep writing.
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