Friday, January 14, 2011

Affirmations

I worked yesterday with another teacher who is also a writer. Jeff is more of a literary writer than I am. He's in his mid-30s, no kids, wife finishing her post graduate degree. He grew up in New York City and went to graduate school in England. He wears a tweed blazer and sometimes speaks with a slightly pretentious accent. We have some interesting conversations.
He finished his first novel after a year and a half of writing, and has been shopping it around, including to some agent friends. So far he has had no takers.
"Do you have some sort of daily affirmation to keep going?" he asked.
I recognized the look on his face. I had it once myself when sitting at a table at a writing conference with an older woman who told me she had written six novels. She hadn't sold any of them. I wondered why she kept writing, how she kept writing when she obviously wasn't going to sell a book. I felt like she was desperate. I felt superior.
Now, that woman is me. I've written three novels and haven't sold them. Am I that hopeful, oblivious woman now?
I don't have a daily affirmation that makes me send letters to agents trying to sell my novels.
I have had some positive feedback from professionals, including an agent who said "We're sure you'll sell this work."
Jeff's comments got me thinking about the positive support I get from my family.

Just the other morning, my mom called and said she was sending a check for some expensive sewer work at our house. I protested that Earl and I were grown ups and we would take care of it.
"You can pay us back when you sell your first novel," she said.
That comment didn't even register until I was talking to Jeff.
My mom didn't say "if you sell your novel." She said "when you sell." She has no doubt that I will succeed.
I wonder how many affirmations I receive from my family that slide past me. I'm going to try to be more aware of the support I receive and try to make them proud with my work, and eventually the sale of a book.
I can't wait to hold that book in my hand and give a copy to the people who believed in me.

8 comments:

France Geek said...

I so enjoy your writing, Paulita. I'm excited for when your book comes out.

Paulita said...

Jill, Thanks. See, another affirmation!

Linda said...

It's nice to have family believe in you. My husband and son are my main supports.

Anonymous said...

I think of how supportive Earl was when he helped with the editing ....that was awesome. Just the fact that you trusted him means he is a real form of support.

Ughhhh said...

This ,@#%?£€ Kindle likes to EDIT my comments....I wanted to sign as Another Adoring Fan

Lucia said...

That's great that you are even writing a book...It's like blogging, you never think anyone's gonna read your blog. At least I didn't think anyone would read mine. And yes you have a talent for writing whereas I don't if the truth be told. Parents are great aren't they? Let them help and when you receive you first royalties cheque or whatever they call it when you sell your books, pay them back! Hope my scatterbrain comment made sense! Did you know they call today BLUE MONDAY...I'm feeling the blue today! :]

Stephanie said...

We can't wait for that day either!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Wow Paulita .. I never knew this and the books :-) What are you waiting for? I am sure the books will sell. I love your blog writing :-)

I don't have a talent for writing , it sends me up the wall , trying to find words for my blog. And yes like LUCY in Canada , I often wondered who would read my blog and why!!..

Your husband is amazing support, well done to Earl.

A Blog Post

I pondered whether to write a funny or emotional post today. I'm still not sure which I'm writing yet. But I will tell you that whe...