Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Stop and think—do you sabotage your own success? This can happen on many levels, most of them subconscious, but all are self-destructive. How do I know this? I’ve done so many things to make myself fail or at least feel like a failure, I can’t even count them. We can’t address all the ways we writers/artists/creators knock ourselves down, but we can discuss a few. You might be able to add to this list.

What is Your Passion? Mine is writing. I write novels, short novels, short stories, and blogs. Your passion may be writing, as well, but any creative activity counts: painting, photography, quilting, making doll houses, cooking gourmet meals, singing, dancing, playing an instrument--the list is long. Maybe you're like one of my talented friends who writes literary novels, but she also paints and is a wonderful photographer, too.  

Is Your Attitude Positive or Negative? Ever hear the saying: “Can’t never could do anything.” I do admit I often say, “Well, I just can’t do that.” Maybe the statement is in response to rewriting a story that seriously needs an overhaul; to a ten-day blog tour; to spice up a manuscript; to take a workshop that I really need. Instead, be the Little Engine That Could and tell yourself, “I think I can.” Doesn’t that sound much better than “I can’t?”

If you are a writer, is Your Book The Best It Can Be? Does it have reader appeal? Pretend you’re someone else reading your book. (I pretend I’m a lady I know on-line who is rather hard to please—will she like my book?) Does it have urgency, intensity, and enough drama to capture a reader’s heart? Does your own book interest YOU? Remember these principles, and you may just write a Best Seller.

Do You Treat Yourself As Well As You Treat Other Writers? Now, this is simple. If you have a writer friend who is faltering, what do you do? Don’t you try to bolster her confidence, telling her that she is competent, that she is as good a writer as anyone else, and that you have confidence in her? Then, why not tell yourself these things? Then act that way.

Do You Play At Writing Instead Of Taking It Seriously? By serious, I don’t mean act that way. The one thing you DON’T want to do is lose the joy of writing. Why write if it makes you miserable? Remember how excited you were when you first realized you were a storyteller, and you wanted more than anything to succeed? We need some level of obsession to take ourselves seriously and make others believe it, too. If writing is your dream, then make it happen. Write!

If you don't write, apply any of these bits of advice to your own particular talent.
If you'd like to try writing--by all means, sit down at the computer or grab a notebook and pen, and write!

Until next time--

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

My Blog
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
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  1. Celia, your posts are always insightful. Of course, they're written by a very insightful woman who's good at expressing things all of us need to think more about.

    BIG HUGS, sweet lady!

  2. These are all great thoughts, Celia. The biggie, for me, is to treat yourself as you would another person. Most of us are compassionate and forgiving to others who might be struggling; we'd do well to treat ourselves that way too. Have a great day!!

  3. Celia, this is one of your best, if not THE best of all your blogs. And I agree with Kristy that being nice to myself is probably the hardest of all. It's easy to overlook flaws in other people but I always want to look at the negative traits or actions of me. I promise I'll try to do better, Sister.

  4. Celia,

    Very insightful post. I think it's easier to boost someone else up, then it is to pat our own backs.

  5. Kathleen--thanks! You know we're most often our own worst critic, but sometimes that's a good thing. I'd hate to go around thinking my writing is so wonderful, when truly it might not be, and then I'd look like an self-centered idiot.
    It's so hard to keep a balance, isn't it?

  6. Kristy--you're right. We're probably the last ones to congratulate ourselves on a success. It's not easy to forgive ourselves, though, is it?
    Thank you.

  7. Linda--aww, thank you. We do think alike, don't we? But wouldn't we be a pitiful pair if we didn't seek out our own flaws and negative traits? I do love a compliment, but often I turn around and say, "Huh? You talking to me?"
    I'll be glad when you get back home!

  8. Kirsten--but we're taught not to think too highly of ourselves, aren't we? I was--"Now, Celie Ann, come down off your high horse." (Quote from my mother that is emblazoned on my brain.)

    By the way--I just saw a Five Star review on Amazon for your book "A Christmas Stroll!"

  9. Celia,

    I laughed then cringed and finally nodded in total understanding at your mother's quote about 'coming down off your high horse', because the phrase that my mom said to me was 'I was getting too big for my britches'. For me as a writer, it's entirely too easy to slip into a negative mindset that what I'm writing is the worst piece of junk ever written instead of remembering that I write primarily for the sake off personal satisfaction. Hence, the "my own worst enemy' scenario just as you said.

    Funny (not the ha, ha kind) ;-)how we've learned not to praise ourselves for our accomplishments and then wonder why girls/females are apt, in a general sense, to have lower self-esteem than males. hmmmm

  10. Great post, Celia. I agree with you on so many levels. Sometimes we have to give ourselves "permission" to succeed, to trust that we have something worthwhile to contribute to the world. I was lucky to have a mother who always encouraged me. Her motto was "you can do anything you put your mind to". Still, it was hard to step outside myself and dare to do it! Took me a while.

  11. You give us all good advice to take to heart. I am starting to believe in my writing. I love to write and want to do it the best I can, always. I also make quilts and give them away. It never fails just before each quilt is finished I look at it and think it just isn't that great. By the time I get the ribbon around it or it is tied, I can see the beauty of my work. It's the oohs and ahs that put the smile on my face, though.

  12. Celia, I always look forward to your blog posts. We are usually our own worst critics, for sure. My mom used to tell me I could do anything I wanted to do, but I never believed it in my heart until I saw that first story in a book and held the check in my hand. Then, I realized she was right. Great post. I really enjoyed it.

  13. Kaye--I love your comment. You said so much in that one paragraph. And oh, yes, the "getting too big for your britches" admonition. I came from a family of all girls, so we only competed with each other. I've often wondered what I'd be like if I'd had to compete with a brother.
    We were never to brag, as Mother said. It's "tacky," which was another one of her admonitions. But boys--aren't they reared to brag?
    I do agree with you that most of our satisfaction about writing comes from within. Oh, don't we love glowing words and praise, but bottom line...we should be getting the greater satisfaction from ourselves.
    Thanks, Kaye.

  14. Vicki--I don't remember my parents saying that I could do anything I put my mind to, but I do believe they conveyed that attitude. I wonder at myself, though, that I reached higher and further than my mother preferred or maybe even knew about. Really, she wanted us to be more like her, I think.
    I stepped way out of the box, and as you said, it took a long while for me to do it--like age 40!
    Thank you, Vicki

  15. Paisley--self-satisfaction is the best, I think. Oh, I love praise from others, but to know in my heart that I did something good and worthwhile is worth everything.
    Then, like you, when others think so, too, it's grand.
    Thanks for visiting, Paisley!

  16. Cheryl--I guess we're all mostly cut from the same cloth. As I said earlier, I was raised in a family of girls, and had no male to compete. This probably made a difference to me.
    You do have a self-confidence and daring that I so envy. Lands, I do think, also, that you can do anything you want.
    Thank you.

  17. Celia, this is such a wonderful and useful post. For me, it was also timely. I am way to critical of myself and lack self-confidence in myself and my work. A comment or perceived slight can send me into a negative twirl which ends in writer's block. I'm trying to work my way out of that rut right now.
    I took a class in writer's block once and much of your advice here on the blog were brought up in that workshop. For me, this blog of sage insights touched on some of my issues. You are like my Yoda. Thank you.

  18. Hi, Sara. Well, this is the first time I've ever been someone's Yoda!
    A famous author--don't remember who right now--said, "There's no such thing as writer's block--only lazy writers." Huh? What in the world did he mean by that.
    I think we're all a bit alike when it comes to lacking self-confidence. Most of us can talk a good game, but deep down, don't we all feel inadequate when compared to some others?
    That's probably the problem--comparing ourselves to other authors we perceive as better.
    Although, I'm not sure a little bit of inadequate feelings are bad for us--it usually makes me try harder.
    You're a wonderful author--unique and creative. Don't let anyone say you're not.

  19. Maybe the person who said writer's block was more about being lazy, meant it is about procrastination--which it partly is. The problem is why procrastinate about something we love to do? Fear of failure or whatever one's personal dilemma might be I guess. Of course, I'm not opposed to being lazy once in a while. Everybody needs to come up for air sometime.
    Thank you for always saying something supportive.
    Yes, you are totally a Yoda--except for the fuzzy ears and teddy bear face. LOL Wisdom just seems to flow from you. Thanks for that. I'll be in my cozy cocoon sipping on cocoa while this WB/Lazy streak lasts.