I had a conversation recently with someone quite close to me that left me feeling deflated. Discouraged, even. This person read LIES WE LIVE and, while to say she hated it might be too strong a word, it's probably not. And, honestly, that's fine. That wasn't the discouraging part because I'm a reader, too, and I understand it's not a book for everyone. NO book is for everyone.
But then this person went on to talk other career options I might pursue because, well, her not liking my book must mean it was a generally unlikeable book, and I should hang up my writer hat while I could. And damn if I didn't end that phone call thinking, "Crap. Maybe she's right. I have years of work experience. I could go back into training and development. Maybe?" I confess, I even took myself and Lucy the dog to the hills for a run and a bit of a wobble, as they say in the UK. (I love that phrase, btw. So British!) Because, damn. Discouraging words are discouraging!
Then I swore a bit, ranted to my husband and a friend or two, and sat down to write again. To write the sequel to the book she reviled. I'm writing and feeling better about it, but it was a blow. A blow which was unnecessary. I mean, the book is out, right?
The point here is NOT to ask for anyone to bolster me up and tell me they loved my books (although that's always lovely to hear), The point is that there's ALWAYS something to say that's encouraging and when faced with a choice, say that thing. But, more importantly, if you're feeling discouraged, yourself, encourage someone else. Hop on social media and cheer on five people. If you don't do social media, go out in the world and be nice to two. Hug your kid, your cat, your neighbor.
I'm going to go and follow my own advice and hop on Twitter and Facebook to pass out a few encouraging words and I'd love for you to join me! I'm going to hashtag it, too, because, why the hell not? #yourock