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Victims Don’t Succeed

It’s no secret that I’ve never been a fan of complainers. I’m a glass is half full person. I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that we make our own magic. Yes, sometimes I’m just full of nothing but enlightening cliches. Fun right 😏

The thing is, I believe them. I believe that by thinking positively we bring good things into our lives. And that constant complaining only locks us into negative thought patterns, therefore blocking out the good things that might be trying to get in.

It’s why this article featuring Barbara Corcoran really resonated with me. In it, she says, “Victims don’t succeed.” And I agree whole-heartedly. You’ll never succeed if you choose to play the victim. And yes, I think it’s a choice.

Oh sure, bad things happen. They are unavoidable. What’s not unavoicalbe is how we react to the bad things. That is when it becomes our choice to be the victim or not.

The Author Victim

I’ve been in this business long enough to see the way authors can sabotage themselves.

Sure we can be disappointed by the marketing, or lack thereof, that our publisher did. But are we the victim of our publisher’s bad marketing or are, like every other author, facing the same struggle of small publisher budgets?

Victim authors wallow and complain about poor sales. Successful authors poor a glass of wine, take a deep breath, and dive back in. Successful authors move on quickly. They research the market, take a careful look at what’s working and align their writing to pull those numbers up.

Successful authors also make their own plans so the next book, the next time around, they are taking the wheel instead of turning everything over to the publisher.

Successful authors don’t blame others for challenges they face, because there will be many. Victim authors keep doing the same thing over and over and blaming everyone else–the publisher, the agent, even peers.

Agents Are Victims Too

Don’t think this is just about authors. I see agents looking to play victim all the time, making many of the same mistakes as victim authors.

Victims agents regularly complain about the “tough market” and how hard it is to sell a certain genre. Successful agents take stock of what’s happening and adjust their lists accordingly. They find fun and excitement in new things and full query inboxes. They see it all as a challenge to conquer, not something to overcome.

As I have watched the success of authors the slow disappearance of others, I see a common thread. Those who thrive are never victims. Those who act as victims, never thrive.

I’m not saying you can’t wallow in an outcome that was disappointing. I’m also not saying you can’t rant. Rant away. But remember that tomorrow is a new day. The victim is still ranting. The survivor has empowered herself to reach the next rung on the ladder.

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8 comments

  1. I believe as you believe, Jessica. Positive thinking makes for a better life. Kidlit writers, especially, are told to never leave the reader without hope. This we must do for ourselves and those we interact with in the actual lives we lead.
    I have enjoyed discovering your agency’s blog.

  2. I totally agree! Thank you for putting this post up. I am so tired of hearing all of it. I might be unpublished, and I have been rejected numerous times, for sometimes reasons unknown, but I am not giving up, and also not complaining. I’ll get there. I have faith in myself. We are all human, but the truth is within your blog. (and the only person who can stop us from succeeding is ourself)

  3. Love this, because you are so completely correct. Attending writers’ meetings, conferences, challenges, and online events, I’ve heard authors over and over bewailing control or bias from publishing houses, agents, and editors. The more of these professionals I meet, the more I find who are fun, bookish, like-minded souls who can’t resist a good book. We’re working together in this. Fortunately, I’ve met enough terrific authors to make up for the sour ones—humble, hard-working folks who are true writers enjoying the journey. Thanks for the continually inspiring posts.

  4. This is a good reminder this morning because when you’re in the query trenches it’s hard to always stay positive. Thanks for the reminder that attitude is so important. That’s there’s still work to be done and part of that work is pressing on and believing.

  5. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. I’m too a cup half full, learn with every experience, tomorrow is a new day, will keep swimming kind of person. I love learning we have this in common!

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