I Think I Can…
With two kids, I find reading old favorites a good solution for their need to hear the same story over and over again. One such book is The Little Engine That Could retold by Watty Piper. I smile every time I read “I think I can. I think I can.”
I kept ‘I think I can’ as a mantra through half of college. At which point, three dimensional calculus kicked my behind. ‘I think I can’ became replaced by ‘Let me out of here.”
As I work on a novel-length manuscript, ‘I think I can’ has come back into my life. I use it to fight the dreaded doubt demon. This is the little guy that as you write, he whispers, “That sucks. Why are you doing this?” He can be quite persistent at times. You just have to persevere and ignore him. Particularly when you receive a rejection for one manuscript while working on its sequel.
Another thing you have to protect against is letting critiques and rejections influence the heart of your story. You have to remember that this is your story and weigh the comments from critique groups, partners, contest judges, and editors against your vision. Most comments will probably make your story better, but there may be a few you don’t agree with changing. Make sure you have taken time away and thought over the comments logically. If you still feel the change is wrong, don’t make it so long as you can give a detailed explanation (besides you don’t want to do it) of why the change is incorrect.
Remember, writing is a business and emotion needs to be left in the story and not your interactions with the people who are helping you. And no matter what, write that next story.