Tag Archives | Writing

Show me some attitude.


 Is it a good thing or a bad thing? And what kind of attitude should we have as writers? Let’s see what happened on Idol this week.

Two differents contestants made it quite clear that there is a right attitude and a wrong attitude when it comes to being professional and pursuing your dreams.

Contestant One: Sulky guy.

       This guy had to wait in the rain in Boston all day. And the longer he had to wait the more sulky he became. He scowled. A lot. And it was evident before he spoke a word that he was not a happy camper or singer. So, finally, when he saw the judges at the end of the day–well, let’s just say he didn’t do so well. He was rude (to Simon of all people). He was fresh. And he didn’t look like he wanted to be there at all. And even worse–he was defensive. 

 Did he get a ticket to Hollywood?   NO.  (And his singing voice wasn’t that bad. But his attitude painted everything from his conversation to his singing.)

Contestant Two: Calm and Composed Girl.

         This girl had to wait all day too. But not in Boston, in Atlanta.  She didn’t come in fawning all over the judges. She was sweet. She was polite. Professional. And she sang well. I don’t think she’ll be the next American Idol, but the judges all said yes. And they commented on her confidence. And that it was a good thing.

What attitude should we have as writers?

Some writers have a bad habit of putting themselves and their writing down, because they don’t want to come across smug or prideful. I realize we all experience the ups and downs of writing. You can experience a down time and still have confidence.

But confidence is much different than pride. When you are talking to agents, editors, other writers, fans, future readers on the phone, in person or online, it’s all about one thing. Being a professional. And part of that is being confident.

I have a bigger question. How does confidence or lack of confidence affect your writing – the words you put on the page?  Does it? (I think so.)

So go out there and get you some confidence. How? I’m not really sure. Any ideas?

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It's that time of the year

From every corner of America. From every walk of life.

(Any clue yet?)

All professions. Hundreds. Thousands. All who think they are…

the next American Idol NYT Best Seller.

I love watching American Idol. The personal stories. The heartbreak. The emotion. Watching people change and grow as they pursue their dreams. (kind of like reading a good book)

Isn’t that what we are all doing? Chasing dreams?

Even if you are not a writer. You may be a photographer. Or a potter. Or a business owner. Or a mom. Or a dad. We can relate to the singers (okay, maybe not all of them) in their struggle to do what they love to do.

But let’s be honest. If we are watching with a writer’s eye, we might start biting our nails or pacing the floor. Where are we on the journey?  Are we the one with natural talent? The one who really thinks we’re great because our friends, family, and other writers have told us so? Or the one who is…forgettable. (What a horrible horrible word.)

The auditions to make it to Hollywood are like one humongous slush pile. And while these auditions are going on, I’m going to be thinking about the infamous writer slush pile.

Most importantly?

What I can learn from it.

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