Setbacks make you stronger.
You will make mistakes as a writer, but if you deal with them properly, you’ll soon bounce back.
5 Ways to Stay Motivated After a Setback
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We all know what it’s like to spend days, weeks, months (and years) on a writing project, only for something to happen or someone to ‘give advice’ and bam, the mind monkeys jump in.
“Who do you think you are? You’re no writer. You can’t publish that. No one wants to read your drivel.”
Blah, blah, blah.
Erm, hang on a minute. Not so fast, matey. REALITY CHECK.
You wrote the book. You were motivated enough to write a whole book! That’s no small feat. Most people just talk about writing a book and never get it finished.
So don’t be so quick to listen to the mind monkeys, ok?
You should remember, though, that this was only the start of your author journey. It’s going to get a lot crazier, I promise. You’ll love it (eventually). And as with anything in life, you will experience ebbs and flows. As an (aspiring) author, you will have highs and lows. You will face a setback (or two or three). Whether that’s a rejection from a publisher or agent, or doubt that you can self-publish your book or ‘helpful criticism’, it doesn’t matter.
But you should never give up. Every setback is a learning curve.
Image by Marta Kulesza from Pixabay
These mind monkeys and setbacks are just little tests to see if you have enough true grit to be an author. Does that sound daunting? Sorry, I didn’t want it to but it’s important to be realistic. And let me tell you this, if you’re going to be an author, you will need tough skin.
So if you’re dwelling on your setback right now, brush yourself down, shake yourself off, and keep reading.
Here are my 5 ways to stay motivated after a setback. You can apply this to your writing, author adventure, or life in general.
#1 Switch Your Approach
If you’ve done the same things, the same way, for your entire life and never redefined your approach, you’re never going to progress. If you always react in the same way at the first sign of a problem, you’re never going to grow.
Instead of curling up into a ball and dwelling on the negative stuff, look at this mistake/setback/whatever it is as a chance to figure out a new approach. How could you navigate a new way around this roadblock? As I always tell my son, don’t talk about the problem, look for a solution.
#2 Spend Time with Your Feel-Good People
Stay away from the people who suck the life out of you and make you feel worse about your setback. You know, the energy vampires who seem to absorb all the happiness out of a room simply by walking in. Find your happy crew – it might be a private Facebook group, a writers’ circle, another pal who also happens to write or just your bestie who knows you inside out – and spend some time with them. They’ll soon give you a reality check and help you see another perspective.
#3 Give Yourself Some TLC
It’s easy to get angry with yourself when you’ve made a mistake. We’ve all had that ‘I could kick myself’ experience. But that’s such a waste of energy!
So rather than slide down the pity slide, remind yourself how far you’ve come, your best qualities, your accomplishments, and your best personality traits. When you can see beyond the setback its power over you disintegrates.
#4 Reward Yourself Every Day
While you’re busy basking in self-care (and yes, you do deserve it, tell that mind monkey to shut its face), make sure you do at least one positive, uplifting thing daily. That doesn’t necessarily have to be cake. It can be something more productive, something that makes you happy. Have a bubble bath in the middle of the day, go for a walk to trigger those endorphins, spend time in nature or watch another episode of that Netflix series you’re addicted to.
Reward yourself by doing something you love, and just for the sake of it. This little mindset shift takes you to a much nicer mind space and suddenly that setback doesn’t seem half as important as it did before.
#5 Leave the Past in the Past
You could spend hours going over your mistake/setback and how you could have changed it. But it’s called the past for a reason. Hindsight isn’t always a good thing.
Be confident in your decisions, go forward with your new approach, and only ever look back to remind yourself of the lesson you learnt.
Are you feeling better now? I hope so. The main thing we need to do as writers is to get out of our heads, sometimes, don’t you agree?
Don’t let anyone hamper your author journey, especially you.
Share your comments if you have other motivational tips for getting over a setback.
Keep going. You’re doing great!
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