Dojo Wisdom for Writers Book Club – Lesson #21

Welcome to the Dojo Wisdom for Writers Book Club! Every Wednesday, we meet to discuss one of the lessons in Dojo Wisdom for Writers. We’ll go in order, so it’s easy enough to follow along. Read the lesson, then read the blog post, then comment in the comments! Do feel free to comment on each other’s comments. I’ll answer questions as quickly as I can.

Lesson #21. The warrior does not reflect on past deeds while in battle

This lesson is about not focusing on what has happened in the past to the detriment of what you’re doing now. In other words, if you’re working on a novel, you can’t obsess about how your last novel was rejected by a hundred agents and why should this one be any different.

This one is different by virtue of your being different and having learned something from the last go-round, although that doesn’t mean that this effort won’t also be greeted by a hundred rejections. But you can’t worry about that or you’ll never finish this project.

One of the ways to give yourself the mental space you need is to think of the act of writing and the act of marketing that writing as two different things. One is a creative endeavor and the other is a business proposition. That doesn’t mean one won’t inform the other but they are two separate things and it helps to treat them as such. When you’re writing, you’re writing; when you’re marketing, you’re marketing.

One of the things I do to segue from one mindset to another is to do a little ritual—it used to be some yoga, now it’s just a moment where I set my intentions and “turn on” the writing mindset.

What are some things you do to keep the chattering voices in your head quiet while you do the work?


Dojo Wisdom for Writers, second edition, now available on Amazon in print and ebook! (Nook and other ebook versions here)
Catch a Falling Star (by Jessica Starre) and The Matchmaker Meets Her Match (by Jenny Jacobs), two of my favorite novels.

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