Monday, February 17, 2014

Feeding the Positive

by Michelle Wilson

Recently I decided to dust off an old manuscript and shine it up enough to pitch it at my next writer's conference. I started at it for days. It edited and rewrote the first page a kabillion times until I was simply disgusted with the entire project. The book seemed to blend into one big pile of rubbish, and I pushed it aside.

I think sometimes we can be too close to something to see it as it really is--our own stories, our family, our children, even ourselves.  Sometimes it's great, and necessary, to step away from the close inspection and take a breather. Of course I'm not saying abandon your treasured manuscript or leave your precious family!  But, there is great merit in stepping away from the focus on the negative and to look at only the positive.

I heard a person say recently that when you are redoing or revising a book, rather than go through and mark down everything you don't like or wish to change, it would be time better spent reading through it and noting all of the things you did like, and all the things that did work. That way, when you are finished reading through it, you not only DON'T feel like chucking the whole think into the fire, but you will most likely feel really good about your WIP and have a great idea about its strengths and what works. Then you can focus on enhancing those strengths, working off of them, and expanding on them.

That was a new concept for me--opposite of what I'd been taught. But, it sounds much more enjoyable that what I've been doing in my writing. But, this concept doesn't apply to just writing. I can apply it to my personal life as well.

Sometimes I get caught up in focusing on the things that I don't like. Whether it's someone else's quirks, habit, my own weaknesses and faults, life in general, or the stated of my microwave--if I try hard I could focus forever on the things I don't like. But that doesn't make me feel good.

So, I start anew today, with an eye single to the beauty of the things I like--in and out of print. I'll expand on the good things I see, work off of them, and enhance them as much as I can. And, hopefully, I'll get the best out of it all--my book, my family, life, and myself.

One of my favorite quotes is "What you fee grows." I plan on feeding that positive and see what will come of it.

I know it'll be good, because that's all I see.

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