There are a multitude of items you can order online nowadays, but I remember something I sent for via our good old postal system before the convenience of the internet. Something that was guaranteed to change my life. I would have love, wealth, and happiness – all of my dreams come true.
I’m an upbeat person. I always look for the good side of everyone and every situation. It can get annoying to others at times. Even our son has told me to back off when he didn’t want to feel better about what was making him blue. I get that. Sometimes, you just have to feel it.
I must have been at a low point about something those many years ago. I really don’t remember; I don’t hang on to negativity very well. But when I saw the ad in the magazine, I simply had to have this miracle, whatever it was. I don’t remember the cost, but I wanted all of the promises. I waited the appropriate six to eight weeks for arrival. On the day it came, I literally tore the box apart to get the magic out.
I sat stunned for a moment.
Inside was a little soapstone dish with a lid. I could hold it in the palm of my hand and close my fingers around it. I removed the lid, and inside was a polished stone. That’s all. I looked in the box to see if there were instructions. Sure enough, there were. Three times every day, I was to remove the stone, hold it in my hand, and repeat the enclosed mantra. I don’t remember the words, but they were nothing more than a series of positive affirmations for believing in yourself. I remember flopping back on the sofa and laughing at my folly.
But I got a lot of mileage out of that little dish and stone. I used it several years later when I conducted training classes. I shared the story, and I passed the dish and stone around as I gave a quick talk on being positive and believing in yourself whether personally or in your job.
That’s a bit of long story to get to my main topic today, but I appreciate positivity. I appreciate someone who encourages you, instead of someone who drags you down, or makes you feel inadequate, or tells you that you can’t do something.
On Monday, writer Morgan Le Fables posted a link to an almost 13-minute video from Anne Rice, author of Interview with the Vampire. I’ve never heard her speak before. She is charming, sincere, passionate, and very giving with her encouragement and advice.
I took notes.
Here is the link so you can view the video when you have time – Anne Gives Writing Advice, September 18, 2012. Here are my quick notes:
- Write every day.
- Keep what you write. Even if you decide not to use what you write, put it away – keep it.
- There are no rules in our profession.
- All you need is a computer, typewriter, or paper and pencil, and you can turn out a War and Peace or an Old Man and the Sea.
- Write anywhere. In a café, at the kitchen table, in a garage office.
- People say you can’t break in. That’s not true. Every year people on the outside break in.
- It’s no harder to get published today than it ever was. New authors come out of nowhere every year.
- Interview with the Vampire was rejected five times. Don’t give up. Anne was at a writer’s conference when she asked someone to read her manuscript. The woman did, and Anne was off and running.
- Publishing is crying for new voices, new visions, new stories, new characters.
- Her friend, author Floyd Salas, said to her, “Go where the pain is. Write about what hurts.”
- Anne expands to, “Go where the pleasure is.”
- Write what is exciting to you. Interesting to you. Be excited to want to find out what happens next.
- Every one of her books has had bad reviews – worst book ever. You can’t win them all, so be sure to turn out what you like.
- Don’t revise your book because of rejection from an editor. Any editor who rejects your book doesn’t get it.
- When they love your book and ask for changes, now you can listen.
- Lots of rejections? Do not give up! Self publish! It’s never been easier.
- There are stories every few weeks of self-published authors being discovered by big publishing houses.
- You need stubbornness. You need courage. You need faith in yourself.
- Don’t be cynical. When a New York editor opens your manuscript, they want it to be good.
- Believe in yourself! Be brave!
- Nobody can tell you that you can’t do that! Realize your dreams.
Truly, all of this is so much better in Anne’s passionate voice. And there is more than what is in my notes. She is motivating and will give you a lift.
As I run down this crooked road of writing and self-publishing, Anne Rice gave me a bit more confidence that my stubbornness, bravery, and writing because the stories excite and delight me, is the crooked road in the right direction.