Hi everyone, I’m back, and I’m also now roughly 83,700 words into my novel. Whoop yay me. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I sat down and typed my first word, but here I am. This example fits well with this post because I’m going to talk about how to keep hold of the positives, no matter how small, and if I don’t say so myself being so far into my first novel is a big positive. It’s so easy to focus on the negatives especially when you’re embarking on this writing journey, you’ll have loads more rejections than you will acceptances, so at times it can be a constant struggle to keep going, and that’s why it’s important that you embrace the positives because it’s those that matter the most.


It’s not easy, if you have your own Mr Self Doubt stalking you, he will regularly remind you of all the negatives, how many times a story got rejected, a negative comment about your stories, your lack of skill, and even if that isn’t true Mr Self Doubt will convince you that you are just not good enough. So how do you make those positives shine, how do you repel the negatives? Well I’m going to share some ideas with you, now I can’t promise that after trying them you will never think of a negative again, but hopefully when they come calling you’ll be able to slam the door in their faces and get on with the task at hand, and that’s to write.


  1. Celebrate each success: Now whether you have had a story accepted and published, or you finished a first draft, you need to celebrate that. Get yourself a treat, buy yourself something nice or run around outside and tell the world how great you are. What ever you decide make sure it’s something you’ll remember.
  2. Highlight your acceptances in green: If you have a submission spreadsheet, make sure that you highlight all your story acceptances in green or another bright and happy colour. You need to make sure that the colour really stands out from the crowd, so when you look at the spreadsheet your acceptances are the first that you see.
  3. Note down all positives: Any positive even if it’s getting a cool story idea, it’s a good idea to note all these down, so when Mr Self Doubt mocks you can show him your book. You could call it your Record of Achievement.
  4. Don’t just analyse the negatives: Yes it helps to know why you got a rejection, or what isn’t making a story work, but rather than focus on the negatives and rejections why not look into why things have gone right. Why was that story published, what about it made it stand out? Not only will this help you feel more positive about your work it can help you with your other projects. Knowing what works is just as important as knowing what doesn’t.
  5. Turn the negatives into positives: Yes, believe it or not you can actually do that. Take a story rejection, if you are lucky enough to get feedback you will be able know how to improve your current skills, and what not to do again. This whole journey is a learning experience so anything that adds to that is a great positive.


So there you have it, these aren’t magical formulas to help you never focus on the negatives again but hopefully they can help you to put your fears in perspective, and to really see that you are doing great. Every day you sit down to write, you are doing great. So stay positive and stay focused, and let’s keep writing and the dream alive.

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About Nicole Simms

Nicole J Simms is a UK horror writer. Her stories have been published on websites, such as Spinetinglers, where she won second place. Her story ‘The Snowflakes of Time’ can also be found in Firewords Quarterly Issue 4 magazine. Even though she is open to many genres, she prefers to write horror, crime, and fantasy stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to bake.You can find her work and latest news at, and keep up to date with her writing journey via her Facebook page.

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