Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Book of Encouragement




They say that for every bad thing you need ten good things to make up for it.

March 2014 I won the Teen Writer of the Year Award at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. I was so happy, excited, and I felt so amazing. Then about this time last year, I got the harshest critique I ever received in my life for a piece I entered into a national contest. The four judges tore it to shreds. Only one said anything remotely good about it. On top of that I received three rejections from promising agents and a magazine all within three months.

This threw me into a huge writing slump and I forgot all the good that had happened. I went from doing 1K a day easy to barely 100 words with several week gaps where I didn't write a word. I didn't get back onto my feet until September.

Bic markers and mechanical pencil and a Pentel gel pen
I know this won't be the first time I will receive destructive criticism or rejections or when I'm published a one star review. Early this year, I decided to start saving text that encouraged me: comments on my blog or Facebook, kind emails, and things people have said to me in person. Whenever bad things happen with my writing, I want to remind myself that people still enjoy my writing and I am a good writer. I don't want to forget like I did last year and fall into another funk.

Thus, I got the idea that perhaps this could help others too. Writing is a tough profession and we need not forget that despite criticism, we do not completely suck. This does not mean that we don't need improvement or we should use this as a way to puff up our pride, but I'm hoping this will prevent some utter discouragement like I went through.

You Will Need:
A Notebook (I bought mine for $3 at Walmart)
Pens and/or Pencils
Stickers, colored markers or pencils, and memorabilia (optional)

I thought this was a pretty good deal for $3
1.) If your notebook isn't already decorated give it a face lift and a title page with some cute doodles, stickers and memorabilia. Make it personal.

The little yellow things in the jar are fireflies by the way. 
2.) Write down anything that encourages you compliments from people, quotes, songs, Bible verses, and etc. Even write down awards you've gotten or other milemarks. Memory won't always keep hold of these and comments and such can be lost in the depths of the internet.

Voila! My crappy handwriting! And thank you to everyone who said all these nice things.
They've filled up 34 pages so far!
3.) Whenever you get discouraged, open the book and read what you've written. It can be surprising how easily you can forget these things. I wrote down a bunch of these digitally at first (copy and paste for the win) and so many I had forgotten about. Now that I'm writing them all down in my notebook I'm remembering them and how much they made me happy and lifted me up during tough times.

Oftentimes it is easy to remember the bad and hard to remember the good. I hope a book of encouragement of your own brings you some comfort when you go through tough times as a writer.

Have you ever made a book like this before? Do you want to try it? What are some things that encourage you?


16 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. This is a GENIUS idea. I must do this. Thank you so much for this post!

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  2. I've been thinking about doing something like this and this post prompts me into action! Great idea!

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  3. Victoria Grace HowellApril 29, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    This was supposed to go up on Saturday. The scheduling must have went nuts. But I'm so glad you like it! ^ ^ Thank you for commenting. I hope it helps you.

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  4. Victoria Grace HowellApril 29, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    This was supposed to go up on Saturday, but something went wrong, but I'm glad you like this! Thank you for commenting! If the post disappears. It's because I got it sorted out.

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  5. Awesome post! This would be a col thing to do just in everyday life, as well :)

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  6. This is a great idea, I'm so glad it's been helping you! I have a diary/journal that I write in sometimes, but I like the idea of making it positive-themed! I should really start doing that!


    Criticism can be really hard to hear, but I'm glad you've figured out a way to battle the blues!! <3 <3 <3


    ~Jamie

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  7. I had a weird error happen where this posted early and I had three comments and they disappeared so I'm putting them back.

    Katie Grace:
    Oh my goodness. This is a GENIUS idea. I must do this. Thank you so much for this post!

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  8. I had a weird error happen where this posted early and I had three comments and they disappeared so I'm putting them back.

    Sunny Smith: I've been thinking about doing something like this and this post prompts me into action! Great idea!

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  9. I had a weird error happen where this posted early and I had three comments and they disappeared so I'm putting them back.

    Heather: Hm, left handed? That's interesting. I don't do this myself, but I think it's a really cool idea. I should try it!

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  10. Yep lefthanded. ^ ^ Are you? You should! Thanks for commenting.

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  11. You're welcome. Thank you so much for commenting!

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  12. I'm so glad you like it! I've tried journaling but not much luck lol. Thank you for commenting!

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  13. Ah, I was wondering why this post had disappeared. :)
    What a great idea! I think I might do it too. Tracking down all the encouragement could take some time, and the verbal stuff is probably impossible to gather, but it looks like a neat thing to do. :D

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  14. Sorry about that! I had a weird mix up. Cool! I couldn't possibly track down all. XD But I wrote down the most I could. It's really cool to see pages and pages fill up with kindness and hope. Thanks for commenting!

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