Recently, I had a chance to visit the North Pole and chat it up with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Let me tell you, that is one optimistic little squirt if I ever saw one. And a lot of his advice applies really well to writing. Here are some super-secret tips he shared about how he made it from last on the reindeer list to leading Santa’s sleigh.
Embrace what makes you different.
Rudolph admitted to me that when he was little he wished he had a regular nose just like all the other reindeer. But in the end, if it weren’t for his sparkly red nose Santa never would have made his deliveries on that foggy winter’s night. Suddenly, the thing that made Rudolph different became the thing that made him special. This is important for writers to remember. Many times we try to “write to the market” or write what others want us to write, but in the end we’re just hurting ourselves. Write what you love and worry about what other people think later. Or never. Because that thing that makes your writing different is also what makes it special and unique.
Develop a thick skin.
Writers are a strange bunch. They spend years writing a book, then tearing it apart in edits. After that, they query and collect rejection letters. Just as Rudolph had to get used to being left out of all the reindeer games, writers need a thick skin to survive the volume of rejections that comes with the job. Rather than letting it get to us, we need to follow Rudolph’s example and just let our noses sparkle.
Don’t let the fog scare you.
At one point or another, all writers hit the fog. You know, that feeling, like nothing you write is ever good enough. We’ve all been there. But real writers don’t work only when the weather’s clear, they write in the snow and wind and fog as well. And most of the time, it’s when they break through the nasty weather that the real magic happens.