Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Coping With Challenges

I've been think a lot about challenges this week. In part it's because of challenges facing friends and because of what we see on the news. It's also in part because I'm working out my class lessons for my Perfect Pitch workshop (and pitching to editors and agents can certainly be stressful), and because I'm looking at story structure in my Book in a Week class.

What I keep coming back to is the realization that the stronger we feel, the more sure of our self-worth (or the quality of our writing), the easier it is to face challenges head on.

This is true for our characters, too, if we're writers. If we're going to have our characters step out of their comfort zone and do something that has in the past scared them, our readers are far more likely to believe the scenario IF we show how in some way our characters have come to believe more in themselves and their capabilities.

So if we are facing a challenge of any kind, one of the best things we can do is make a list of our strengths and past successes. This list is a reminder that we have succeeded in the past and can succeed again. When we focus on the best we can be, we are far more likely to find the incentive and courage and resilience to become even better.

We can make a list of resources available to us—which for so many includes faith in something greater than ourselves.

We can make a list of things that make us smile and make a point of using that list to create reasons to smile every day no matter what is happening to or around us. Most of us weren't raised to think this way but truly it helps to build resilience and better health and encourages our ability to find creative solutions to our challenges.

How do you face challenges and/or what might your characters do to face theirs?