Dealing With Rejection

There is only one thing in your life over which you have control: your attitude. That includes your reactions to events, including rejection.

As an author, I’ve had to learn to deal with rejection. With poor contest scores. With bad reviews. One of my mentors told me, “You have 24 hours to mope. Then get back to work.” A New York Times best-selling author told me, “Every rejection means you’re one step closer to acceptance.” Having your baby dissed is never easy. Rejection, though, is an opportunity to take what you’ve learned from the experience and apply it to the future.

“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” “Rejection builds character.” Clichés? You bet. But clichés are repeated statements of truth. Yes, I am stronger than I was. I am a better person because of the adversities in my life. No, this doesn’t make rejection any easier to handle; but knowing this does make it less stressful to forge ahead.

We can’t change the past. The future is ours to write.

 

Maps

I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day. She was lamenting the younger generation’s dependence on GPS and/or their phones to get them places. “Remember road maps?” she asked.

Of course I remember road maps. I have a file folder full of them. I used to keep a couple in the glove compartment of my car. I have an ancient road atlas somewhere in which I would highlight the routes I’d traveled. One of the reasons I once belonged to AAA is because of the Trip Tiks (personalized maps) they offered.

Maps are a handy tool for an author. When I was writing Moonlight Serenade, the state of Montana sent me a free road map.

One thing about roadmaps: they can be a challenge to refold. My dad wouldn’t let me get my driver’s license until I could prove to him I could refold a roadmap.

Happy #ReadARoadMap Day!

#UpbeatAuthors: Relaxation

I often say, “I read the way most people watch television.” And I think that’s true. I usually read several books a week. Sometimes those books are re-reads, but thanks to the public library and my Kindle, I have easy access to more new-to-me books than ever.

Reading is how I relax. A good story is my vacation from the real world. I know a lot of people who are into travel, going on cruises, visiting exotic locales, etc. I would rather read a good book. When I do go away, I tend to stay in my hotel room and read. Why spend money to do that when I can indulge  in the comfort of my own home?

There is absolutely nothing as wonderful as coming home from a challenging day at the day job and losing myself in a well-written tale.  Not only is it relaxation, it is a blessing.

 

April is National Jazz Appreciation Month

I like jazz. I never played jazz when I was in high school band, but Y-Chromo did, from the time he was in sixth grade until the day he graduated from high school. He started middle school jazz ensemble when he was still in elementary school. Early rehearsals two mornings a week, plus one evening rehearsal. Every week. He also made the All-County Jazz Vocal ensemble.

When he was still in elementary school, I was listening to Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” and Y said: “This is jazz, isn’t it.”

One of my favorite memories is of his high school graduation day. The school’s jazz ensemble was on the stage playing for the audience before the ceremonies commenced. The musicians wore their caps and gowns, although the gowns weren’t closed in front. My son was wailing on his sax, while the double bass player was completely into what he was doing. The tassels on their caps swayed in time with the music.

Here’s a great fact about jazz: jazz triggers theta waves in the brain, which induce states of artistic and spiritual insight. This can assist in dealing with complex issue.

If you’ve never listened to jazz, this alone ought to make you try it. You might appreciate it.

 

 

#UpbeatAuthors: Efficiency & Stress

Maximizing efficiency doesn’t necessarily mean upping stress levels. It’s been my experience that I’m more productive if I slow down, take several deep breaths, and focus on completing one task at a time.

Research indicates there is no such thing as multitasking. The brain can do only one thing at a time. MRI imaging shows a bottleneck in the part of the brain that routes input when the brain tries to process too much information. So why make your brain inefficient by overloading it? Why add to your stress levels by trying to do too much?

You may wonder how a person walk and chew gum at the same time.Those actions, as well as other “muscle memory” functions like typing and playing a musical instrument, are the products of habit learning and are controlled by a different part of the brain than the declarative memory learning process.

Studies have shown that workers who don’t fragment their attention are more productive and more accurate than those who try to accomplish too much at one time. Another way of saying maximizing efficiency.

All that said, we live in an age of information overload. We are expected to “multitask.” Here are a few suggestions of ways to cut down on the distractions that fracture of focus while increasing our productivity:

Create a to-do list

  •  Prioritize each duty.
  • Refer to list often.
  • Keep list up-to-date.

 Clear away distractions from your work area

  • Spend 10 minute each day decluttering.
  • Keep only one thing at a time in front of you.

 Manage your e-mail

  • Don’t check your e-mail until you complete an assignment
  • Check e-mail at set points in the day.
  • Turn off e-mail alerts.

Reflect & review your accomplishments at the end of the day. It refreshes the brain.