Justine: Seeking Out Rejection to Overcome It

Are you sitting on your finished MS, dying-but-hating to send it out to the A-list of agents and editors you met at a recent conference? Perhaps you’ve signed up for a mentor program, but you’re anxious about putting your 60,000 word baby in the hands of someone else. Or, you found a great new critique partner, but you keep putting off sharing your chapters because “it’s just not quite right yet.”

You’ve got a rejection problem…or really, the fear of it.

Cue Jia Jiang, an entrepreneur and educator who formed an early association to rejection anxiety when he was six years old. Watch in this humorous TED talk as he explains how exposing himself to rejection for 100 days actually lessened the anxiety he felt about being rejected, and actually opened up opportunities he otherwise wouldn’t have had. It’s a lesson we can all learn from (although I don’t think I’ll be asking for “burger refills” at the local burger joint).

What is your worst rejection moment? Your best? What lessons can you share with writers who are afraid to put their work out there?

Nancy: The Mathematics of Love

Can love be explained by math equations?

Can love be explained by math equations?

All right, it’s time for a confession: in addition to being a word-loving, fiction-writing, reader type of person, I love math. I’ve talked before about my love of spreadsheets and using them to break down and track writing progress with Excel commands. But it goes much deeper than that.

I loved math classes and even math homework. I spent my first year in college as a bio-chem major, and my favorite homework assignments involved stoichiometry – the expression of chemical reactions as mathematical equations. (If I’d had half as much love for the hands-on labs as I did for the equations, I might have become a biochemist after all.) I’ve even looked at theoretical math equations and wished I’d studied long and hard enough to interpret them for myself. In short, I’m kinda weird. Continue reading

Justine: No Stressing at Conferences

Conferences are the perfect place for introverts like me to get stressed out. Who to sit with? What workshop to attend? Of course there’s that darn agent/editor appointment, or, in my case, the stress of learning if I won the contest I entered. However, being stressed out isn’t a bad thing, and in fact, can be quite helpful. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Inspired by TED or the Case for Lowered Expectations

Sometimes a change of perspective can spark creativity

Sometimes a change of perspective can spark creativity

When I’m not watching re-runs of Castle or staring off into space busy being a struggling new writer, I have a day job that pays the bills and keeps me off the streets.  Currently, we’re planning out the coming months, deciding what projects to focus on and figuring out how to accomplish more with fewer resources while keeping everyone motivated and productive.  Easy peasy, right? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Confidence

A few days ago I watched a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy about how body language can change how we see ourselves.

In her experiment, Cuddy had people pose in a variety of positions for a few minutes and measured their levels of testosterone and cortisol both before and after.  What she found was that the people who posed in strong confident positions increased their testosterone levels (“power”) and decreased their cortisol (“stress”).  Regardless of whether the Continue reading