A tale of almost-woe: Yesterday’s post, “Susan Soars,” almost didn’t make it to you. Through a sudden glitch on WordPress (which I love, love – so easy to use!), it mysteriously disappeared into cyberspace. Luckily, my wonderful husband David, who’s ever-patient and far more technologically savvy than I am, came to the rescue. While he was wrestling with WordPress trying to find my wayward document, I mused (stressed would be more accurate), about this unexpected turn of events. Since some helpful ideas emerged which I think we can all fruitfully apply to our writing, I’ve decided to do a follow-on post to share them.
Luckily again, I had recently posted these words of wisdom from Miles Davis: “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” (See No Mistakes). I decided to really take these words to heart and reframe my pending problem: losing my post completely and having to reconstruct my work. So, if losing the post isn’t a mistake, I thought to myself as David fiddled with my computer, what is it? An opportunity, a lesson, an eye opener, a gift – all these possibilities sprang to mind.
An opportunity: If my post was indeed lost and I had to reconstruct it, this would give me the opportunity to improve it. To be honest, I’ve lost posts before and when it happens, I’ve adopted a productive approach: Instead of kicking myself, I get to work write away (pun intended!) to recreate it and challenge myself to make it even better than the first one. This turns a problem into a possibility.
A lesson: Stuff happens, Karin! Don’t get sloppy and cavalier. Make sure your original post can be saved, so if you lose it on WordPress, you’ve got a back up. I am writing this as a Word document which I am going to copy and post.
An eye opener: OK, I have to admit, I can easily “go global” when I an event blindsides and discombobulates me. This means instead of just saying, “Oh, well, I’ve hit a little snag today,” I can jump to “Wow, this is the third rough patch I’ve run into and the new year is just starting – this could spell disaster!” Take a chill pill, Karin! This is just a blip on the radar screen – nothing more. This Sue Snafu reminded me how easily I can shift into my global mode. To offset this, it’s inspired me to come up with a plan: Instead of going global, I’m going grateful. When a snafu arises, I’m going to immediately shift from the dark side of it into gratitude that it’s a rare event, that it’s fixable, that I have help — anything positive I can come up with.
This ability to reframe a problem when it occurs, a tool we all have access to, turned my Sue Snafu into a gift – something of value that will be of use as I go forward. It’s a great exercise to try as we all write on.