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Re: On the subject of staying positive...

Hi from California,

Staying positive is a tough one.  Unfortunately it seems to be human
nature to express a negative attitude towards a person who is attempting
the adventurous.  Part of that is a reflection of their own security.  
You're just going to have to learn to tune them out.  Also, I'm not 
sure how far along in your career you are, and what kind of writing you
do, but a brain surgeon can't learn to be a brain surgeon overnight and
neither can a writer.  So once you accept in yourself that you're not
going to have that many ''successes'' at first, and you keep struggling
to learn your craft, nobody can take that away from you.  My best defense
in the early years was simply not talk about my writing.  If people asked
what I did, I told them about the job I had (the one that I used to make
money to write.)  It was only after I finished a novel and it placed in
a literary competition did I finally tell some people, and they were mad
that I hadn't told them I was working on a novel all along.  Of course,
these were the same people that would have discouraged me right along and
I didn't need that ''noise''.  I also remember a close friend reading one of
my early children's stories.  I can remember her comment so clearly.  She
wanted to have a ''talk'' with me after she read it, and she said, ''You'll
never write children's books.''  This was an otherwise nice person.  Well,
I just had my second children's book published in March (Miz Fannie Mae's
Fine New Easter Hat) from Little Brown and it received a nice review in
Publisher's Weekly.  My first children's book Can't Scare Me! was published
by Doubleday in 1995.  By the way, I didn't know anybody at these publishers
I just sent in my manuscripts over the transom...Anyway, if I had listened
to that stupid girl I would have stopped writing children's books right
then and there.  Having received all that negative feedback when I was a
younger writer has made me see the importance of encouraging people in
whatever their endeavor.  Good luck.  Don't listen to ''them''  Keep
Going.  Don't stop.  Melissa Milich


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Article-ID: 05_1997&2208567
Score: 78
Subject: ESSAYS: A word from our sponsors