The day after Thanksgiving, I stood in my mother-in-law's kitchen with my sister-in-law and the conversation turned to dieting. Uncomfortable with her weight, SIL teared up as she confessed to less-than-spectacular eating habits. Fast food. Chips as a late night snack.
I passed along some advice I'd been tossing about in my own brain: Focus not on losing weight but on being healthy. Move more. Pack your lunch. Don't even bring the chips in the house. Forget about dieting and counting calories and just think, What can I do to get healthy?
I'm not sure if she will heed my advice or not, but later I decided the same mindset applies to writing. (See, Elizabeth, you're not the only one who relates food to writing!) If I continually strive to be published and fall short, I get caught up in the disappointment of rejection--rejection, like love-handles, that's hard not to take personally.
My goal instead should be to write well. Write fabulously. Write the most compelling prose my brain is capable of. Read books for inspiration. Attend workshops and conferences. Surround myself with people and places that motivate me. Stay focused. Make writing a priority. Connect with other writers who willingly critique. Focus not on the ultimate prize but the means to help me reach it.
As a result, logic tells me, my goal will be met. I just have to heed my own advice.