Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Optimism

If you've never visited Despair.com, you're totally missing out. Especially if you're a writer, you'll likely appreciate their backwards way of looking at the world. You'll laugh. You'll want to order some doom-and-gloom products to grace your writing desk. You'll think it's cute that they have hundreds of "demotivator" posters. You will fail to be demotivated by them.

Why? Because writers have a skewed perspective when it comes to facing the odds. Odds make us laugh. The bigger the odds against us, the more easily we ignore them. We persevere. Like this:

Source
Ever heard the adage that publishing a best-seller carries the same odds as winning the lottery? Or the stats on how many authors can actually support themselves with their writing? Pretty bleak, yes? So why do we still do it? Why do we dream of turning our obsessive little hobbies into full-time careers?

Because it's next to impossible for someone to have the imagination necessary to dream up a story, with loveable, realistic characters who overcome impossible odds... without having some of that overlap into real life. To read hundreds and thousands of books showcasing successful dreamers without internalizing the power of dreams.

Reality might bite, but it can also be ignored. For those who ignore it long enough, and who work faithfully to accomplish the improbable... sometimes reality conforms to match what we think it ought to be.

So what impossible goals do you have?

11 comments:

  1. HEARD those statistics? I've CITED those statistics to the dozen people in my life who are constantly telling me to "be a writer." I am NOT, by any stretch of the word, an optimist. The only reason I write is because I spent ten years very aggressively NOT writing (precisely because I'm fully aware of what a pipe-dream it is) and it wasn't allowing me to be fully content. Pretty happy, yes. Fully content, no.

    If I could locate whatever makes me want to write and put a bullet in its head, I'd do it right now. Then I could stop wasting my time and have some peace around here, for once. But I can't, so I write. Pessimistically.

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    1. LOL--I knew you'd come along and supply the counterpoint. :D

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  2. I'm one of those crazy dreamers. I can't help it. At a writers conference I went to last year one of the agents said there are thousands of people that query a year, but doing your research puts you above 80% of those people and then striving to meet your goal continuously puts you in the top ten percent. I'd say those odds aren't horrible so I will continue on that road:)

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    1. That's one of the best reasons to go to conferences: you get told that, just by being there, you're proving that you're in the top 20% of wanna-be's.

      Naturally, I choose to believe that they're not just trying to convince me to return the next year. :D

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  3. Oh, Robin. Thank you so much. After all those sad comments that were going around in AI yesterday, I needed this.

    "To read hundreds and thousands of books showcasing successful dreamers without internalizing the power of dreams.'

    Yes!

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    1. Few people have accomplished something they believed was impossible. So say I. :)

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  4. Whoa, that photo is very powerful. I don't have impossible goals--they are all quite achievable, it's only a matter of taking it one day at a time. :)

    Elizabeth
    A to Z co-host

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  5. Ha! Thanks for sharing that site.

    The most impossible goal I have is to wake up at 5 am every day to go running. ;)

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    1. Now, see, I do NOT believe that I can accomplish that goal, so you'll never see me doing it. More power to you! Say hi to the early birds for me!

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  6. Enjoyed this post and I blogged about optimism this week too. I have to intentionally decide to view the world in a positive manner - day by day, moment by moment. I think I am wired the opposite way. anyway enjoyed reading your post

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