a blog for whatever is on my mind
We are all familiar with experiencing grief when we have the loss of a loved one. We might even recognize it when there is something else that is a loss in our lives, like the loss of a relationship. But what about the loss of an opportunity? What about when you recieve a rejection for your manuscript? Or you don’t get the job. Or you don’t do as well in a contest or sporting event that you worked very hard for and thought you would ace?
At our September CRW retreat we had guest Ann S. Brady, a social worker and counselor from Denver and she helped us realize that these lost opportunities or even failures engender grief. And we go through the exact same grieving process (albeit not as intense) as we do when losing a loved one. Sometimes we get stuck in our grief and never move on. Never enter that next contest or send in that next query. Recognizing grief and its stages can help us move along through them faster and get us to a place where we can move into a new opportunity.
Denial is the first stage of grief and I can tell you it’s my first one when opening up a disappointing review or rejection. And it’s quickly followed in my case by anger. I know they’re wrong, or misled or whatever. I have to put it all aside till I calm down and am able to really look at what the person said. That’s how we move into the next stage, bargaining, where we just know we need to tweak and polish and work harder and then it will do better. Some of this may be true, but it might also be the thing that is keeping you in that really bad first book. You might need to just dump it and move on to a new project.
That acknowlegement that it might simply not be any good leads to the next stage, depression. You might feel like you will never be any good and get stuck here. Nurturing yourself and getting out can be very helpful at this stage. So you can move on to the last stage, acceptance.
Once you’re here you can come up with a realistic plan, not one based on wallowing. Revise, polish, or move on to the next project, whatever you decide you know that you are ready for action.
Have you ever gotten stuck in one of these cycles? How did you get out?
Leave a comment for entry into my month long Halloween Treats contest in celebration of my novella Little Red Riding Wolf, soon to be released from Passion in Print Press. Take a chance on winning today’s book, an autographed copy of The Shy Duchess by Amanda McCabe.
Thursday’s winner is Sharon Clare! Congratulations Sharon, send me your address through my comments box and I’ll be shipping out your book soon!