Obstacles to action when you know what you want

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Postby maestro » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:07 pm

I remember back when I was preparing to apply to clinical psych Ph.D. programs I got very discouraged. Most schools received 200+ applications, and admitted fewer than 10 students a year. The odds were worse than medical school. I was convinced my qualifications were not nearly good enough to get in. When I told one of my classmates about the odds, she just said, "They've got to pick someone. Why not you?" I did apply to nine schools, got offers from six. I think about that whenever I'm tempted to give up.
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Postby Meg » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:24 pm

That's a pretty neat story, Maestro. I like to write, but gave up a few years ago after a few rejection slips. I might just try sending some stuff out again. :)
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Postby maestro » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:41 pm

There are so many stories of now best-selling authors who collected boxes of rejection slips before their first sale! Perhaps it's a rite of passage...
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Postby Meg » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:51 pm

And what a fun passage it is ... Wasn't helped much by the fact I made friends with a woman who seemed to win every writing competition she entered and had published authors begging her to write a book. Slightly intimidating.
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Postby pattyn » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:57 pm

Meg wrote:And what a fun passage it is ... Wasn't helped much by the fact I made friends with a woman who seemed to win every writing competition she entered and had published authors begging her to write a book. Slightly intimidating.
And others would say they never made it into writing because they didn't know any insiders...
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Postby Meg » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:05 pm

She wasn't an editor, she couldn't get me published. She just made it look much easier than it really is. Which is fair enough for her, she was a great writer. Eventually I realised that she told the same story over and over, even though they were brilliantly written, and this gave me some self-confidence back. Anyway, the point is Maestro's - you gotta be in to win.
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Postby Tituba » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:21 pm

And others would say they never made it into writing because they didn't know any insiders...
:) Ah, yes, proven wrong by the existence of those who knew no one and made it anyways. Reminds me of a couple of quotes \"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. \" Thomas Edison \"The first and most important step toward success is the feeling that we can succeed.\" Nelson Boswell
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Postby pattyn » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:38 pm

Meg wrote:She wasn't an editor, she couldn't get me published.
That WOULD make it easy, wouldn't it? You lucky dog, you know someone who could point you toward a good agent or share what she learned about contracts or advise you to avoid certain publishers or write a blurb for your book or just be seen with you at a book expo.
Meg wrote:She just made it look much easier than it really is. Which is fair enough for her, she was a great writer. Eventually I realised that she told the same story over and over, even though they were brilliantly written, and this gave me some self-confidence back.
I can imagine. I doubt that your definition of great writer included reworking the same story until you watched her. You learned from her experience and can use that to your advantage. I'll bet she also submitted the same story to lots of publishers and was more concerned with the ones who wanted to publish it than the ones that didn't.
Meg wrote:Anyway, the point is Maestro's - you gotta be in to win.
Very true! Glad you're back in.
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Postby pattyn » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:40 pm

Tituba wrote:"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. " Thomas Edison "The first and most important step toward success is the feeling that we can succeed." Nelson Boswell
I love them both, Tituba! How very true.
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Postby Meg » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:59 pm

pattyn wrote: You lucky dog, you know someone who could point you toward a good agent or share what she learned about contracts or advise you to avoid certain publishers or write a blurb for your book or just be seen with you at a book expo.
No, I didn't. She was a brilliant writer who had a few short stories published and against whom I felt inadequate. That's all.
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Postby Tituba » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:21 pm

Anyway, the point is Maestro's - you gotta be in to win.
The lottery has this slogan "you gotta play to win" No matter what the odds, somebody always wins the lottery.
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Postby pattyn » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:23 pm

Meg wrote:No, I didn't. She was a brilliant writer who had a few short stories published and against whom I felt inadequate. That's all.
Sorry. I missed the part where you stopped being friends as well as writing. I assumed that now that you were beginning to see that you're well more than adequate you would still have access to your friend.
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Postby Heather Duggan » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:25 pm

Meg wrote: No, I didn't. She was a brilliant writer who had a few short stories published and against whom I felt inadequate. That's all.
Yeah, I get that. I've had to fight a tendency to yo-yo a bit with my interests - thinking I'm going to be the absolute best that *ever* tried, and then realizing that I'm up against brilliant talented people who appear to be far better at it then I am. What helped for me was to create human-sized dreams - to be of help, to feel that I was stretching myself, to know that I was taking my work seriously. It's cut down on the big highs, but it's also kept me from getting discouraged. One thing I read (maybe in one of the Paul and Sarah Edwards books?) was that it's rare to find someone who really loves their job, and that that sense of pleasure seeped through their work and was more important then their raw skill level. Maybe it's not true, but it certainly made me feel better.
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Postby Meg » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:56 pm

I heard that .. what's his name? Um, the guy who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I heard that he was not the best writer in his creative writing class by far, but was the most determined. It's a brilliant book.
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Postby expatana » Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:13 pm

Tituba wrote:[There are other jobs and career opportunities. You can even work as an intern to learn the ropes.
Really? Then why aren't so many of you doing just that? Ana
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