Disappointment, it seems, is a constant companion for any writer. There’s the difference between the glorious story you had in your head. There’s the thousand no answers for every yes. There’s the bad reviews, and the bad sales and the disappointing royalties.

So how to deal with it? Well, first, remember your life outside writing. Yes, you do have one. Watch something brilliant on TV. Watch something awful on TV. Read a book totally unconnected to anything you write. Eat a cake, a really good cake. See friends, play with a dog, go for a long walk, anything away from writing.

Then, look back on all the good. If there’s only one good review, read that. If you have only one passage you written that you like, read that. Remember all your successes, no matter how tiny.

Some people like to read about all the writers who failed before the made it, the people who turned down Jane Eyre or Harry Potter, or about writers like Mary Wesley who wasn’t successful until her 70s.

By the way, if you have a friend facing disappointment, please never say to them ‘Something will turn up’ unless you want them to scream ‘What and when!’ at you.

In the end, if I have had a disappointment, I face it, I cry, I scream, I weep and wail – but for that day only. As Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day. I will start again tomorrow.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad


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