When I was ten, I had a grading at my Tae Kwon Do club. If I passed, it meant I would move up to a more advanced belt. How much preparation did I do?
I went to the grading filled with notions of victory, convinced just showing up was enough.
Needless to say, it didn’t work out the way I imagined. The next week, when I asked my instructor for feedback, he pointed out that I had become distracted in class and didn’t have my head in the game. He taught me about mindset and impressed upon me the importance of focusing and following through on my goals, rather than just showing up and expecting everything to work out.
I adapted and reassessed my priorities, kept my eyes on the prize and after six months of focused training and a new attitude, I easily passed the next grading.
Just like any hobby or interest you’re passionate about, if you want to excel, a positive mindset is key. Writing is no different. Everyone has good and bad days. Not writing a single word for a week doesn’t make you any less of a writer than the person who writes four thousand words per day. As long as whatever else you’re doing that week is taking you one step closer to your goals.
I made the conscious decision to become a writer in September 2017. Determined to get my first manuscript completed before the end of the year, I sacrificed chill time, going to the pub, watching TV, even sleep. With two hours to go, I finished my 100k word story.
After weeks of editing and polishing it off, I began to submit to agents and publishers. No-one was interested. Determined to forge ahead, I self-published and although it got off to a great start, my debut fantasy fiction floundered.
I remember feeling horrible and questioning if it was even worth it. Instead, I pushed that little voice that knit-picked me to one side, dusted myself off and learning from the many, many mistakes I made, I wrote Big Red.
I still have so much to learn and I’m grateful for the experiences (good and bad) I’ve had over the last few months. Without them and without a positive mindset, I wouldn’t be counting down the seconds to May 2019 to see Big Red launch worldwide. A positive mindset is key!
Written by Damien Larkin