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How Writers can Use Disappointment to Motivate New Action
Nina Amir -- Nonfiction Book Coach Nina Amir -- Nonfiction Book Coach
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Gatos, CA
Monday, April 8, 2024


how writers overcome disappointment

For writers, disappointment is inevitable. Maybe that’s a negative belief, but you’d probably agree that most writers experience disappointment at some point—especially if they take risky steps to realize their publishing dreams. But you don’t have to allow disappointment to stop you from continuing to move boldly toward your goals of writing and publishing successfully.

I know this well. As a writer and author, I boldly send query letters to agents and publishers concerning the book projects I intend them to help me publish. And when I get rejection letters in return, I feel disappointed. As I read their emails, my dream of having my words make a positive and meaningful difference in readers’ lives seems dashed.

It would be easy to allow disappointment to stop me from taking new action or expecting a different result if I dared to try again. But that would mean giving up on my publishing dreams…and myself.

Avoid Disappointment by Not Having Expectations

Someone once told me he would never expect desired results again; he’d been disappointed too often. And so, he decided he would simply expect disappointment.

But that’s a broken strategy that only yields more disappointment. After all, your thoughts are creative. If you think you will experience disappointment, you will. And if you expect to be disappointed, you will be.

It’s better to develop an “overcome-disappointment” strategy that works.

10 Strategies that Motivate New Action

So, what can you do when you experience disappointment, like a rejection from a literary agent or magazine editor? Try these 10 strategies to help you continue moving toward your writing and publishing dreams.

1. Acknowledge your disappointment.

It’s never good to ignore emotions. Instead, acknowledge how you feel—disappointed. Then, allow yourself to feel the disappointment and any accompanying emotions, like frustration, anger, sadness, or despair.

However, create a boundary around how long you let yourself wallow in your emotions. Give yourself an hour or a day to really feel them. Then, it’s time to wipe away the tears, raise your energy, and get moving. Write something new or send out another query letter.

2. Pat yourself on the back for trying.

Celebrate that you put yourself out there and tried to create your dream or achieve your goal. Lots of people wouldn’t even try, but you did! That’s worth a pat or two on the back.

Do something nice for yourself. Go out to dinner, buy a new book you’ve wanted to read, or soak in the tub. Celebrate that you took action—even if the result wasn’t what you desired.

3. Determine what you can do next.

You took a step (that didn’t work out as expected). What’s your next step toward becoming a writer or an author??

Maybe the next step requires repeating the same one you took previously, or maybe you need a new approach. If so, discern what step aligns with that plan.

4. Do the next thing.

Now…take that step. Don’t wait. Do it fast! Move!

Write and publish the blog post. Compose the essay and send it to a magazine editor. Send out another query letter.

The longer you wait, the harder it will become to get moving.

Take some action! Put your intention into the world courageously and with positive energy.

5. Affirm that your results can and will be different.

It’s essential to affirm that you can and will get different results when you take repeated or new actions. Otherwise, you can get stuck in negative thoughts and beliefs.

Or you might repeat what happened in your mind…like an audiobook on automatic replay. Doing so can lead to a powerful negative story about who you are, what you deserve or are worthy of creating, and the outcomes you will get in the future.

Choose the story you tell yourself. Craft one about how you are a tenacious, courageous, and successful writer and author.

6. Know everything is happening for you—not to you.

No matter your results, if you know everything is happening for you, not to you, you can rise up from disappointment.

In fact, a belief that everything is happening for your highest good eliminates feeling disappointed. After all, if this is true, then something better is coming your way. Thus, there is no reason to feel disappointed.

7. Course correct as necessary.

Disappointment provides an opportunity to consider how you need to alter your plan to achieve your dreams or goals. It’s a chance to course correct, if your current course is not getting you where you want to go.

Trim tab. Choose a new path. Tweak.

Then, move forward.

8. Learn from your experience.

You can learn a lesson from any experience you have. In fact, you are here in this lifetime to learn, grow, and evolve.

When you experience disappointment, ask what you need to learn from the experience or your results. Search for lessons in your outcomes.

Learn from it all; then, apply what you learn. Try again from your new place of understanding.

9. Ask for advice or help.

When things don’t go as you’d like, it can be difficult to discern your part in the outcome. That’s when asking for advice or help comes in handy.

A good friend, coach, or mentor can help you see into your blind spots. Outside observers can offer insights on how to try again. They can point out what is working and what isn’t, helping you gain more perspective. They might even provide new strategies you can try.

These people can also help you acknowledge your success. You are likely only seeing the failure, which keeps you from taking more action. Their observance of what worked or got you closer to publishing success provides the impetus to help you confidently move forward.

10. Don’t give up.

Whatever you do, don’t let disappointment cause you to give up on your writing goal or publishing dream. Be tenacious. Be determined. Be resilient.

You are a powerful creator. Put all your energy and focus into achieving your goal or realizing your dream, and you will achieve the result you desire.

Also, when you refuse to give up, you tell the Universe or Source you are serious about creating your desire. That’s when all the forces conspire on your behalf to make your writing and publishing dreams a reality.

Also, you rewire your brain every time you recommit and take action. You create neural pathways for determination, tenacity, positivity, commitment, and your desired result.

Take Massive Action

I recently started pitching a new book project. I was quite disappointed when I received two literary agent rejections. But i didn’t let that stop me. I remembered the advice of Tony Robbins: “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”

And so I did…but not just one action. I took three.

  1. I contacted someone I had met years ago who works for a publishing house that I believed would be a good fit for my project. He agreed to take a look at my proposal and share it with the acquisitions team.
  2. I submitted a totally different project to a small publishing house; I had contact with the publisher about 10 years earlier.
  3. I asked the publisher to revert rights for one of my books so I can self-publish it.

I’ve had no response yet from any of these actions, but I feel so much better after taking action. I took back my power, which I had given to outside sources, like agents, and affirmed that I could control my writing and publishing career.

Don’t Let Disappointment Put a Damper on Your Dream

Disappointment can put a damper on your dreams of authorship. It can make you feel unworthy, not good enough, and like a failure. It can rip away your self-confidence and courage.

Unless you don’t let that happen.

Instead of expecting a specific result, intend to achieve it. Let your intention energetically propel you toward that outcome like an arrow flying toward a bullseye.

And know that each time you pick yourself up and keep moving forward—despite disappointment—you demonstrate your commitment. And commitment always results in desired outcomes.

How do you overcome disappointment and take new action? Tell me in a comment below. And, please share this post with a writer who might benefit from reading it.

Nonfiction Writers University

Would you like to write and publish nonfiction work, like articles, blog posts, books, or reports…and become a successful (and productive) author? Join the Nonfiction Writers’ University. Get the basic education you need and author and personal growth coaching to help you succeed as a nonfiction writer.

Enjoy a 30-day trial membership for only $1. If you’ve felt the desire to get coached and be supported as you pursue authorship, this program is for you. Participate in monthly group Author Coaching sessions and gain access to an extensive archive of writing and publishing resources.

Photo courtesy of NejroN.

Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, blog-to-book, and high-performance coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, National Book Blogging Month, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 19 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time. Her most recent book is called Creative Visualization for Writers, and tomorrow her 19th book will be released, The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Creativity and Flow. Find all her books at booksbyninaamir.com or find out more about her at ninaamir.com.

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