Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hard Work Always Pays Off

As we endeavor to reach our goals, whether it’s writing a great book an agent/editor will love or losing a few stubborn pounds, it’s easy to get discouraged. A rejection arrives in your e-mail inbox. The scale has been stuck on one number or worse has gone in the opposite direction. When the progress we expect stalls, it’s important to remember one thing. Hard work always pays off.

Don’t fall into the trap of not taking any responsibility. Is it possible you sent a manuscript off before it was truly ready? Have you put yourself out there and gotten honest, impartial feedback on your work? Maybe you conveniently forgot about that hamburger you ate. Perhaps you’ve been doing the same routine, at the gym or at home in front of your computer, and can’t understand why you’ve plateaued.

Hard work always pays off.

If you’re a writer, get some critique partners or try new ones. Fresh eyes will help. Enter a contest for a different level of feedback. Never stop trying to improve. Take an online class on craft or order a book to help you with dialogue, pacing, characterization or any other weak area. Go to a retreat for writers where you can focus exclusively on growth for a week.

If you’re struggling to lose the weight, hire a trainer for an hour to show you different exercises. Write down on the calendar every day that you actually get in cardio and some muscle toning. Hold yourself accountable when you get fast food for breakfast instead of having a bowl of oatmeal. Step it up a notch. Stop walking on the treadmill and try running for a minute or two.

Whatever you do, put your fears, your laziness, and your excuses to the side.

Decide what you want, then go after it, every single day.

Hard work always pays off. It’s just a matter of time.

My baby is due later this month, so I'll probably only have a couple of additional posts for a while. I'd love to know if you've been working hard every day, slacking or plan to try something new to get out of a rut.

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for establishing the Insecure Writer's Support Group.