America’s Next Top Model is a guilty pleasure of mine and last week’s episode provided a very teachable moment.
The set up: Three models won the opportunity to compete to win a better prize — the chance to be in an actual campaign for high-end handbags.
Now, of course, (it’s reality TV) one of these models for various reasons, some earned, some not, is intensely disliked by the other two.
The first model (the disliked) goes up and poses with the bags. (The whole time it’s clear even without a voice over that the second model is is thinking not-nice thoughts about the first)
The second model takes her turn. After the third model goes, they cut to the designer who speaks about who she thought did the best and who she was going to choose.
She says the first one was magnificent and so was the second, and that she would have chosen the second, but she noticed the second model during the first’s turn making faces and just not carrying herself with the poise she expects from someone representing her brand.
In other words, the second model was so worried about the first model instead of herself, she lost out on a fantastic opportunity!
What does this have to do with writing? Everything! So much of writing is mental. We look around and see so and so did this and so and so made this list or has a new contract and we fall into the trap of not focusing on what we can control — ourselves.
This business is so rough and capricious that even if we do everything right we might still not sell or sell as much as others. Luck is a huge part of it, not only landing on the editors desk, but landing there at the right time.
As my mom used to say, “Don’t worry about your sister, worry about yourself.”
Make a plan. Set a goal and stick to it. Give yourself a deadline. Let others in on your plan, so they know you treat writing as the business it is and good luck!
Cross your fingers for me, too while your at it. 🙂