Sunday, 4 October 2009

Don't Be Defeatist

For the first time in over two years I'm out of paid employment, but I'm more used to heading off to faraway lands and continents.  This time I'm spending time to learn some writing craft.  In an attempt to start off on the right foot, as opposed to wrong, not left, I bought a writing magazine today.  Namely, Writing Magazine.  And it's first article has inspired my first post, not bad huh?  I didn't realise it was this easy.
The article mentioned that poets at a recent poetry festival had been asked their most hated words and it got me thinking about my own.  And after careful consideration, it would have to be the word "defeatist".  It is often used in statements like "Don't be defeatist", or "You're being defeatist" and is usually in response to me having little confidence in something happening, or something turning out correctly.
However, these people don't then try to encourage me by giving reasons why things will turn out ok.  They just leave it to stand on it's own.  It's only with my own increased self confidence and self esteem that I've realised what people were actually saying.  That either they didn't care about what was troubling me, or that they just didn't want to hear it.
The other thing about the word is that with three strong sylables, it allows the speaker to really annunciate it, making you feel even smaller than if they used a word like "negative", which is much softer.
The irony is that if you are a writer just starting out, trying to be seen and heard, trying to get published wherever you can, being defeatist is probably the worst possible thing you can be.  The chances are that the majority of publishers you write to will say "no", but that doesn't mean you shouldn't write to them.  And that's something I've got to keep in mind over the next few months.
Anyway, this has all been a bit serious, so to lighten it a little I'll mention that while walking in Regents Park today, I saw a Heron attack a Canada Goose.  I don't know why.  It was probably just bored.

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