Cheering works

Today I had something I wrote published on the Guardian newspaper’s website.
I’m not saying this to brag in anyway – this is HUGE news for me. I reckon for the past eighteen months or so I’ve pitched ideas to editors of magazines and newspapers, only to be greeted by, well, generally no response at all. And when I did get replies they were always kindly worded ‘Thanks but no thanks’ emails.
So I pressed on. But it’s hard to believe that you have good ideas when your ideas get regularly turned down.
When you’re writing, the idea is where you start, so it follows that if you stop believing your ideas are any good, you stop believing your writing is any good.
Anyway, last week I was told repeatedly by someone who has not got a vested interest in telling me so (like my mum or my mates) that I’m a good writer. ‘Why have you not had anything in a national newspaper? Why have you not had anything in a newsstand magazine? You can write!’
I don’t know why, I answered, feeling a little bit like I do when people ask me why I’m single. If I knew why, and the reason lay with me, I would do something about it. I’m not an idiot and it’s not a matter of principle.
The same day I sent an idea to one of the Guardian editors. I’d sent one the day before, that had been courteously turned down, but I was feeling encouraged by what I’d been told. ‘You can write. You can write. You can write!’
An hour or so later I got the reply – ‘Yes, please. Your deadline is Monday lunchtime.’
Simple as that.
Possibly it’s coincidence. The nature of probability is that inevitably something I pitched would get the go ahead eventually. If I’d not lost heart and given up by then.
But the timing of it is a little too weird. I’m fairly confident it’s because encouragement works.
One encouraging word, given occasionally, isn’t enough to keep your self-esteem above water. But having somebody cheering you on, constantly shouting for you – well, even if you don’t believe in yourself, knowing that other people do makes all the difference.
No wonder football fans are so important to their teams, and stadiums are built to hold so many thousands. To achieve great exploits we need a whole load of people screaming praise at us, as this advert clearly shows…

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2 responses to “Cheering works

  1. Well done you indeed! I’m a big fan of your work and read your piece on the Guardian website. You must be v excited! x

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