Have you ever felt like your life was supposed to be different than this?
Well, you’re not alone. When I was in college, I had a plan – I’d get married in my mid-twenties, have a job that made a difference in the world/that helped people, first baby by 28, traditionally published novel at 30, house at 33, MBA at 36, and blissful family, writing, working life in all of the years to follow. (Yeah, I know my list was a little stacked. Sometimes I think my super hero name should have been optimist-prime.)
Well, you know what they say about the plans of mice and men…
But what should you do when your life goes off the rails?
#1 Reflect – or as I like to call it: freak out or mope for a little while and get it out of your system.
Whenever something bad happens, I generally allow myself a little while to sit and be sad. It helps to mope, but I try to place a time limit on it so that I can move past the mope cycle and on to the next stage. Otherwise, I’d get stuck in the endless mope cycle. And who wants that?
#2 Rebuild the track – or figuring out where you want to go or what you want to do.
I’m calling it the track here and not the destination because, honestly, who the hell knows what exactly they want to do with their life? (And if you do know, hush your face. You’ve won, alright? And the rest of us are jealous.) Anyway, even if you don’t know where you want to end up, with some time you can probably figure out what you want your next step to be.
So, if you want to get published traditionally – start looking for an agent or a new editor to help you on your way. Work on that query letter (and then please motivate me to do the same, as those things are tricky minxes).
#3 Rebuild the train – pick yourself up and get your shit together, darlin.
Seek ways to motivate yourself – images of the end goal, picture quotes (I’m so guilty of this one), and positive reinforcement. If there’s someone in your life that likes to shit-storm on your parade, push them out of your inner circle. If you can’t push them out, then start singing Taylor Swift in your head (“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate”). Actually, fuck those clowns – sing Taylor Swift out-loud.
#4 Rinse and Repeat, because let’s face it – this isn’t the last time that things won’t go 100% your way. That’s life, it’s up to you how you deal with it.