In any dramatic scene, the energy should flow back and forth – like a tennis match. Someone says or does something and the other person responds. In the best scenes this movement is palpable – the power dynamic shifts – and the resulting momentum moves us into the next scene.
In our writing careers it’s no different. We send out material or take a meeting and we expect a response. Sometimes, that response doesn’t come. If we’re making phone calls in an attempt to network or drum up business, we hope to hear back. It can be challenging if we don’t.
I’ve talked to scores of writers who use those not-hearing-back moments to rail at the universe. They want to turn each non-response into a chance for despair. These moments are never fun. Some people feel deeply hurt by each and every one. I get it.
But there’s another approach I think is worth trying.
Whenever I’m not getting the response I want, I take a look at my own behavior. Yes, I wish so-and-so would get back to me. But where have I dropped the ball in getting back to other people? Are there emails I haven’t returned? Voice mail messages I need to listen to? Letters or cards I haven’t sent? Usually there’s some unfinished business in my inbox or on my phone or in my life. And that unfinished business is usually a result of having so many things on my plate. It’s NOT a blatant disregard for the person on the other end of that interaction. It’s not a punishment or a dismissal of who that person is. It’s not rejection. It’s simply a by-product of doing too much.
When I’m willing to look at it that way, I can more easily let it go if I don’t hear back from someone as quickly as I want to. While I’m waiting, I can return those calls or emails that I’ve forgotten about – and, I believe, I can restore some sense of balance. If you believe in karma, and I do, this kind of clean up helps.
This week, check yourself and your business mojo. Has someone helped you recently? Send a thank you note. For every person who has championed you – express your gratitude. Maybe send a gift. If you’ve been helped, help someone else. The more you open your heart and count the large and small ways that you’re being supported – the easier you’ll move through any challenge that emerges. If you’re going to keep a list of all the times you’ve been ‘slighted’, you should also keep a list of every time you’ve been blessed. And I guarantee, you have been blessed. If you think otherwise – you’re not looking hard enough.
The reason I coach writers is to help people develop thriving creative careers. If we’re all telling our vibrant, personal stories, the world will be a more powerful and exciting place. If you resonate with the message in this e-blast, pass it on to a friend (or invite them to subscribe). If you’re looking for guidance in your creative life, know this: I’m offering a free one-hour coaching call to anyone who hasn’t coached with me before. If you’re interested, reach out and let’s set something up.
Your most dynamic, creative life is right around the corner. Are you ready for it?