Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Be a Mule


Sometimes, it's not so easy to keep a positive attitude. Revisions wear you down, rejections disappoint, or real-life problems just drain your energy away. I have two ways of coping. 

1) Take a break. If your mind isn't really in the writing, don't write for a few days. Either relax and take in some TV, or do something that keeps your head in the game but isn't stressful, such as: blog, catch up on emails, post in forums and on blogs, or write critiques for people.

2) Be a mule. (This is the one I do most often.) Plow past the problems miring you, ignore the self-doubt, turn your nose up at the rejections and criticisms, and just be as stubborn and determined as a mule to reach your goals.



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42 comments:

Mark Means said...

Two great pieces of advice and I'll be sure to remember them the next time I run up against the wall :)

Clay said...

Awesome advice Lexa! Being a mule sounds awesome. Love stopping by your blog. Cheers

Kate Larkindale said...

Always a mule... Even when it's possibly not in my best interest. Yeah, it's a character flaw.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

LOL be a mule. Love it:0

Melissa said...

LOL - I tend to be a mule to a fault sometimes. Funny. :)

IWSG #179 (At least for today.)

PS - If you want to learn how to turn off word verification (aka Captcha) for comments, there's instructions on my blog. ;)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great pieces of advice. I alternate between those two methods.

michelle said...

Ha! I love it! Be stubborn and headstrong! I agree!

J.W. Alden said...

I tend to take the latter approach, but I recently took a nice, long vacation and it did wonders for me. As much as I love writing, it was great to be away from the desk for a couple of weeks and just focus on relaxation and fun. I'd highly recommend it!

J.W.

Kyra Lennon said...

I am very much a "take a break" when things get tough kind of girl, but I need to be more of a mule!

Nancy Thompson said...

Great advice. I do both myself!

VikLit said...

Great advice!

Elise Fallson said...

Oh I am such a mule at times, though sometimes I'm referred to as a pain in the a**!
Thanks for the advice!

Medeia Sharif said...

I never thought of myself as a mule, but I am. :)

Break time is important.

kimlajevardi.com said...

I'm an expert at the take a break part, but need to work on my mule tendencies. :) Great post today!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

This is great advice, Lexa. And that is one good lookin' mule. Sort of reminds me of my DH. Happy IWSG.

Adrianne Russell said...

I need to try this "mule" thing. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Nicely done. I like the mule analogy as rejections will try to land on you and not let go.

Ravena Guron said...

I love the mule. I'm now a mule, and I'm never changing. See? Look how stubborn I am already!

Rosalind Smith-Nazilli said...

Yep.. I am also a mule.. Sometimes you just have to get tough with yourself and sometimes you have do find a distraction..x

Cate Masters said...

Balance is key. Sometimes you can get so immersed in one thing, everything else loses perspective. Great attitude!

Insomniac #4 said...

Great advice! Sometimes you have to step away and sometimes you have to plow through it. I find it difficult to write unless conditions are perfect (which of course they rarely are) and when free time and clear thinking dont match up, that's when the mule makes an appearance :-)

DMS said...

Awesome advice! It is so important to relax and take our mind off of things. But, it is also important to keep going and not let things get us down for too long. :)
~Jess

Cherie Reich said...

Be a mule - what great advice! Sometimes we need to relax. Other times we need to push through. Now just finding out which one we need to be might be a harder question to answer. :)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for the great advice, Lexa. I'm going to use it as my new mantra: Be a mule.

xoRobyn

Suze said...

I am finally learning to alternate between taking a break and being a mule. Super cute post, Lex.

Nicki Elson said...

I like these advices. :) And your eye gets me every time - gorgeous!

amy gh said...

Great advice to simply tackle it from one direction or another. Action and inaction can both be beneficial when writing! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Cathy Keaton said...

Yeah, I have to take a break all the time, myself, because I wear out very quickly. Such good advice. And, I don't always have my head in the writing mood.

I do like your mule advice, too, because perseverance seems to be the key to getting this dream accomplished. :D

Sher A. Hart said...

In my case, other people want me to take a break more often than I do. So I guess I'm a mule too. Problem is, if I start doing the social media thing, I lose track of time just as easily as when I'm writing or editing.

Cheyenne Campbell said...

Great suggestions. I definitely find it hard to stop working because the guilt sets in, and the knowledge that if I got more done today, I'd be closer to my goal.. but when I do spend a few days off, watching favourite TV shows, playing video games, reading other books, I'm that much more eager to come back to it. And as for the mule thing, I spent about an hour in tears after a rejection, and then get seriously stubborn, thinking of some of the books I've read that amaze me got published, and I remind myself again that I know I can do it ;)

Christine Rains said...

Great post! I'm a mule most of the time. I really should take a break!

A.M. Schultz said...

"1) Take a break. If your mind isn't really in the writing, don't write for a few days. Either relax and take in some TV, or do something that keeps your head in the game but isn't stressful, such as: blog, catch up on emails, post in forums and on blogs, or write critiques for people."

YES! This is the first time in WEEKS I have seen someone break the whole "2,000 words a day, every day, or you aren't a writer" myth! I am going to find 50 people a tattoo that whole paragraph on their foreheads and stare at them when I don't feel like writing.

tfwalsh said...

I love the mule approach... I need to do this too when things get a bit too much:)

Kelly Hashway said...

I'm definitely a mule. I'll keep writing until I find the zone again. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hi, Lexa!

I can do the mule thing just fine. But it's the mulish part of me that has a problem with advice #1 -- Taking a break. Sometimes I need an evening off, or I need to go to bed early even if I'd planned on staying up to write. Sometimes I need to get away from my writing for a weekend. And sometimes the break is *absolutely necessary* for me to see past whatever is blocking me.

But I have such a hard time admitting it and a harder time doing.

Patsy said...

Taking a break can be a good thing. Sometimes a complete break from writing is needed, sometimes just switching projects can do the trick.

Gene Pool Diva said...

Ah, the all seeing eye. I've been following your image through the insecure writers list and it's a pleasure to make your acquiantance. have a lovely day

Elise Fallson said...

Hi Lexa, just letting you know I passed along some blog love your way....
When you get the chance, swing on by. (:
elisefallson.blogspot.com

Lynda R Young said...

Yep, sometimes it takes being as stubborn as a mule to get through.

Nickie said...

I need to be more of a mule. I 'take a break' until it turns into a full blown case of procrastination!

Tia Bach said...

Wow, so simple and so true. "Be a Mule" I love it. So much about life requires us to be stubborn and plow through, and writing isn't any different. Thanks for the kick in the pants. ;-) (Yes, I'm late getting around to IWSG posts, but I'm getting there!)

Katja Weinert said...

I've got to try being a mule; taking a break sometimes refreshes me, and sometimes makes me lose focus.
Katja @ YA's the Word

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