Writers wait. A lot. Publishing is the world’s slowest industry. The sloths in Zootopia move like lightning in comparison. But writers don’t just wait—we wait in debilitating anxiety. We wait to hear back from agents to see if they want to represent us—or if we’ve been rejected again. We wait to see if our editor loved our manuscript—or wanted a million changes. We wait to see how book sales are soaring—or if we still have to keep our day job. We wait and we worry about how terrible things might be. Seems silly.Worrying can’t change anything. Or can it?
It is true that worrying can’t change tomorrow, but it definitely changes today. It makes you miserable while you wait for the worst. The thing about the future is that you can’t predict it. Odds are, tomorrow will be awesome. Instead of waiting for the worst, smart writers focus on enjoying today. Smart writers understand that we see the world through the filters of our mind. Some people’s filters only let the bad stuff in. Other people’s filters allow the good in as well. You’ve heard the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But our minds don’t work that way. Just the opposite, actually. We see only what we believe. If we believe that tomorrow will bring doom and despair, we’ll miss seeing the good things that come. But if we believe that tomorrow is filled with opportunity, we may find ourselves in a bright, new world.
Too often, teens feel like writers, waiting anxiously for tomorrow. I have a test tomorrow. I know I’ll fail. My boyfriend hasn’t called. Why does he hate me? School is out. What will I do with my life? This type of waiting causes restlessness, depression, and anger. And these feelings make waiting worse, filling our heads with negative predictions about what’s coming. Not only that, they create a self-fulfilling cycle of doom and despair. It’s unhealthy. It destroys your ability to enjoy life, to make it what you want it to be. Like the writer whose mental filters tell her that tomorrow will bring rejection, too many teens sabotage their own happiness by making negative predictions about tomorrow.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
We form habits by the way we talk to ourselves. Pushing irrational worries aside and talking as though you are in control is a healthy habit. Victim talk, telling yourself that nobody loves you and that you are doomed to failure, is an unhealthy habit.By changing your mental filters, the way you choose to see life, you can change the way you talk to yourself.
This is what a healthy habit sounds like:
Okay, I sent off my manuscript. It will be three weeks before I hear anything. Awesome! That gives me three weeks to work on the next novel. Or just chill.
I have a test tomorrow. Awesome! I can ace it. I have all evening to study.
My boyfriend hasn’t called. Awesome! That gives me time to read Manga.
School is out. Awesome! I have all summer to enjoy.
So don’t wait on tomorrow. Make seeing the good things in life a habit, because they are many. Enjoy today, and let tomorrow wait on itself.
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About Live and Let Psi (Psi Fighter Academy, #2):
She’d rather kick butt than fall in love.
Rinnie Noelle would rather kick some creepy villain butt than go on a date. As a Psi Fighter trained in the Mental Arts, she can’t be distracted by emotion. Her nemesis, Nicolaitin, is manipulating students from her school, using them as puppets to carry out his new plan to find the infamous Morgan Girl, and he doesn’t care who becomes collateral damage in the process. People’s lives are depending on Rinnie’s ultimate focus.
But Mason Draudimon keeps slicing into her soul sharper than a Thought Saber, and her feelings for him knock her off her game with the strength of a psionic War Hammer. Mason insists on helping Rinnie take down Nicolaitan for his own reasons—to avenge his mother—and the closer they get to the truth, the more dangerous the dance between mind and heart, life and death, logic and love.
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