Hey, I know you!

I don’t have to own a crystal ball to know what writers (that’s you and me) want. We want “someone” to send us large checks, praise our writing, send us large checks, connect us with publishers who will send us large checks, and provide us a fantasy editor to make our writing better to earn even more large checks.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we want a quick response every time we send our work, too. No matter if it is snail mail, we check the mail the next day. If it is email, we check our email messages, incessantly. We hate waiting and we can get moody, bossy, paranoid, spend hours daydreaming about catastrophes (the mail plane crashed, the editor’s office caught fire, computer crashed…), develop tics and twitches, and nightmares added in for good measure.

The poor people “on the other side!” They have to serve as professional editors, mini-publishers, spend their already stretched time and console each person attached to a manuscript. No wonder it’s difficult to get them to see us as we really are, the most talented writer they’ve read! And not as, “Oh, no, another one. What was I thinking?”

How trusting are we? Depends, doesn’t it? We’ve sent our work out to be read and judged, compared to everyone in the world, and we sit waiting, trying not to lunge for the phone to “check on things.”

And then. We hear back. Whew! or What?!

After the shock settles in that our manuscript was not perfect and we can read the comments and suggestions for corrections without emoting over every mark, there is The Choice. Do you have the confidence that you can revise your text or the energy to do so?

Short of hiring a cheering squad to parade through your office, cheering,”You can do it! Y.O.U.” Gather up your feelings, see the therapist, and then get to work – again. But, isn’t that what it’s all about? The publishers are not our projections of saviors, father or mother figures, authority figures. They are real people with real jobs that serve the writers and the public. They long for us to succeed. Their projections go the other way – we’re “their” writer. Perhaps they see us as the bad boy or the woman-who-reminds-me-of-my-mother. It takes time to find our roles, our footing.

Let’s try to not become infantilized or act out our teenage ways of controlling people.

I say, stick with your Muse. Perhaps your Muse comes in the form of an editor, a publisher, a friend, a coach. Most of all, your Muse is an inner guide, the voice that shows you the way, and then vanishes so you can shine.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Patricia Brawley maintains a therapy and consulting practice and is a university professor. She has always been deeply interested in mind-body interaction, health psychology, creativity, consciousness and dreams. She is strongly influenced by mindfulness meditation practice, Buddhist philosophy, yoga, and humanistic values and beliefs.

Dr. Brawley is an independent scholar and researcher with an interest in phenomenological thought and methodology. She has presented professional papers at national and international conferences across the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Finland, and Russia.

She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals, American Mental Health Counselors Association, the Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselors Association, the Mississippi Counselors Association, the Mississippi Psychological Association and the International Human Science Research organization.

Dr. Brawley, a published author, enjoys writing and leading writing groups. She lives in McComb, Mississippi with her husband and three cats, Kwan Yin, Nightmare, and Goldilocks.