So, at the last several talks I’ve given I’ve found myself repeating something that I don’t know that I’ve said here. It’s about how you balance your mental attitude and stay sane in a fundamentally irrational business.

First, the way you should feel about whatever book or story you are writing this very minute, is that it is absolutely your best work ever and will be irresistable to readers.

Second, whatever book or story you are revising or getting critiqued at this very moment, is a solid piece of work that can and will be improved if you work at it and learn from comments.

Third, whatever work you have just finished, is ready to go out to agents or editors and you’re excited to get it in the mail.

Fourth, whatever work has been bought or is being shopped around, no longer exists until and unless a decision is called for on your part.

Fifth, whatever work has been published or set aside is complete and an example of your work at the time, not something that reflects the writer you are now.

Sixth, whatever work you are going to embark on next will be made better by what you will learn from the completion of what you are working on now. So much so that once you have finished the current work, this new project will be the best thing you have ever written, bar non.

(Originally published on the Wyrdsmiths blog November 20 2008, and original comments may be found there. Reposted and reedited as part of the reblogging project)