A student who recently sold her first story also got a painful rejection just a few days later. It HURTS, and boy, am I glad she reached out and shared her pain!
Let’s peek under the hood of the Lifewriting System, the thread of meaning and purpose baked into everything I do.
The Hero is Confronted with a challenge: To become a successful, published writer.
Rejection of the challenge: If you are not currently published, there may well be emotional or strategic blocks between you and that goal.
Acceptance of the challenge: at some point, you simply DECIDE you are going to do it. DECIDE you are absolutely committed to doing it. If you know WHAT you want, and WHY you want it, the only question is: “what daily/weekly/monthly steps do I take that will take me to my goal efficiently and effectively, in alignment with my childhood dreams and deepest wisdom?”
Road of trials: A sentence a day, 1-4 stories a month. Submit until published. Don’t re-write except to editorial request. Read 10X what you write. Repeat 100X. This path has NEVER failed. To this date, not a single person who has walked the path has failed to publish. People either stop trying…or they win.
ALLIES AND POWERS: Boys and girls, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I don’t believe in talent. I believe in hard work, and honesty, and willingness to take rejection. The bad news is that it is going to take everything you’ve got. There is no where to hide. You can’t just say: ‘I didn’t have what it took. I didn’t have the talent”. Wouldn’t that be comforting? No. The truth is that you have to get a specific skill set to the level of “unconscious competence” and that different people take different periods of time to get there. Some seem to have it “naturally” but usually, when people “get there” faster than you, you’ll discover they had resources you didn’t have, were practicing when you were sleeping or partying, or had pre-existing skill sets that transferred over. You have to give up anything except “IF ITS TO BE, ITS UP TO ME.” Give me a student with that belief pattern, and I’ll get them there, guaranteed.
CONFRONT EVIL–DEFEAT. Isn’t it clear? You CANNOT change your life without going through an ego death. That means that even success is frightening. And failure is 100 times worse. There is a part of your head that is searching for ANY evidence that you cannot, will not, should not. And rejection slips fit the bill. “See? You didn’t have it! Why bother trying!”
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL. This is the moment that it feels as if you just don’t have it, and quitting is the only sensible course. IT NEVER COMPLETELY GOES AWAY. You must develop the wisdom to understand the cycle, so that you can see and feel and recognize this one coming a mile away, and know how to disrupt it when it arrives.
FAITH is the antidote for fear. Also GRATITUDE and LOVE. The “Morning Ritual” is breaking this pattern every single day. This is why so few people will really do it. They are committed to “trying” rather than “being”. “Being” the new person means the death of the old. “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
CONFRONT EVIL–SUCCEED. IF you take the previous steps, and have defined “victory” in a way that you can find others who have succeeded starting from where you are, you will reach your goal. The “Lifewriting” path is one such approach
THE STUDENT BECOMES THE TEACHER. When you find a “critical path” to success, TEACH OTHERS. This is how the human race moves forward. Billions of us try to move away from pain, toward pleasure. Some approaches work better than others. We teach and share them, and when others try them, those that help the most people are taught again, and again, and the social equivalent of a “neurological groove” digs in deeper. Stops being a mystery, so that we can move on to the next thing.
This pattern can be applied to ANYTHING you want to do in life. The beautiful thing about writing is that you can apply it not only to the plot of your story, but the process of writing it, and the life that you live overall. This enables you to connect the inner and outer worlds of your writing, accelerating your progress.
Really is amazing.
But then…so are you.
Write with Passion!