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  • Jennifer Preston Chushcoff


Don’t Be Like Me

As writers, we work alone and live in our heads a lot, at least I do. After we finish a story, we venture out and open ourselves up to critique as we begin the submission process, which is subjective and competitive. 

Competition can be good, since it encourages strong stories. But, sometimes I feel like the little critter in the game, Whack-A-Mole. 

When I’m feeling low, my very own ‘Negative Nancy’ pops into my head. She’s adept at berating me. But, I squash her back down by being more gentle with myself. It also helps to reach out to other writers since we’ve all, “been there.”

There’s a curious, opposite reaction among us, too. I’ve noticed we tend to downplay our successes, both in the presence of others and within our minds.  I don’t know why we do this. Do you?

At these times, I cling to the words of readers that have been kind enough to send me lovely notes. I cherish the message below. It’s both uplifting and revealing. 

“Jennifer, just received my books.  Thank you!  One thing I would like to tell you…. Celebrate that you have written such an amazing book that will be held dear for generations in my family as well as others!  When you autograph your books BRING IT ON and sign LARGER and LOUDER, you have earned the right and should be proud!  Happy Holidays!  Kathy”

If you’re like me, you need reminders that you’ve persevered enough to have victories, and that is definitely worth celebrating. 

Pats on the back to you, for sitting down and committing words to the page, for staring at the screen, for sorting through ideas, for submitting, for getting rejected and trying again.



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