Wednesday, August 04, 2010

It's not how you look at it - it's how you respond

We read self-help books about how to change our attitudes. If we think positive, we reap the benefits. While attitude can make your life easier and sweeter, I argue that it's more in how you respond to your environment. It's how you take action that matters most.

People respond to us like a mirror. It's hard to be sweet to an angry person. It's hard to be passionate to an ass. It's hard to be comical with a sour puss. So when we meet people at a conference, when we answer the phone, when we query, when we email or post on social media, we receive what we deliver.

Of course this isn't a 100 percent, fail-proof theorem. Some people are naturally chipper (i.e., morning people are like nails on a chalk board to me, so I keep to myself until noon), and others wouldn't know a smile if it smacked them in the chin. But I'd guess that 90 percent of the time, if you greet someone warmly, they reply in kind.

So, what does that mean to your writing career? It means if you are positive in your human connections, in personal, via voice or in writing, you raise your chances of receiving a posistive response. For instance:

  • A well-written, positive, go-getter query letter is more likely to receive a reply, even if it's a rejection. At least you'll receive feedback. Plus someone is more likely to read your submission twice.
  • A positive phone conversation with a potential client leaves a lasting impression that will increase your odds for a project down the road, if not immediately.
  • A positive outlook on your blog or Facebook page will draw readers like flies to a Coke. The public enjoys associating with happy people. Happiness turns into sales.
  • A positive presentation exudes confidence, whether you are self-assured or not. Again, more sales.
Best of all . . . even a temporary positive personna rubs off on you. Eventually you not only realize it opens more doors for you, but it actually makes your life feel great.


Susan said...

Hello Hope. It's true that our attitude determines our altitude, in writing, as well as in life. Susan

Bill said...

I agree 300%, life is too short to be angry and bitter even when you feel down. As writers we need to pass on our generosity to others, to our readers, editors, publishers, and fellow bloggers and colleagues.......Bill

Ink Dancer said...

You can be positive even when telling a story about loss in any form. It's the outcome and how you handle life's curve balls that makes all the difference. The Write and Release method always works for a great positive healing process.