Friday, February 10, 2012


I really hope all of this makes sense. I have no idea what I sound like to other people when I blabber…

As I prepare to go on sub for the first time in my life (!), I’ve been thinking a lot about the best tool a writer can have, and it isn’t material, like a spiffy laptop (I dealt with a laptop for months that shut off every five minutes and demanded its own personal fan, and I was extremely tempted). In my book, it doesn’t even involve other people.

I think the best tool a writer can have is a good attitude.

I mean, when you think about it, your attitude can affect your success as a writer in a ton of different facets.
If you don’t have the perseverance, you may never reach that one agent who falls in love with your work, no matter how much work it might still need, because you let those rejections bog you down.

If you’re not open to critique and correction, you might never reach your full potential as a writer, and your writing might not be as good as it could be. There are enough people out there resting on their laurels. Being one of them doesn’t really get one anywhere.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to leave your ego at the door, keep your head down and work hard, asking for opinions and thoughts on your writing, you’re going to be a much better, and much more humble, writer.

I know that my writing has improved tons since I’ve dropped the whole “I don’t need crit partners” crap and really buckled down and seen my work in an unbiased light. Now I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I know how much hard work and persistence can pay off, guys. With aikido—my seven month anniversary is this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier—I work extremely hard, and when I say I work hard, I mean I WORK HARD.

I’m there every week, for every class. I get there early and I practice, practice, practice. I ask my fellow students (who are above me) and my sensei to nit-pick me and to constantly tell me what I can improve on, because I WANT TO GET BETTER. I’m willing to lay my faults out there and have someone tell me how terrible something was, and then how I can fix it.

The best part is that all of my hard work’s paying off. I’m 6 months ahead of schedule with rank testing, and I pretty much know everything below black belt because of how hard I’ve worked. Not only does it make me feel good, but it gives me an advantage on future tests.

I give all of the credit to my success in the martial arts to my hard work, and nothing else.

My point, guys, is that the only thing you really need to worry about with your writing is your state of mind. Everything else will take care of itself.

Does that make sense?


  1. Great post, Mad! It's so true that a positive attitude and being humble will both get you so far as a writer. Good stuff! =)

  2. Really like this! Makes me want to keep writing with a fantastic attitude :D

  3. I try to go into any situation - critique, submission, conference - with the "what can I learn" tude. Then I'm never disappointed.