Friday, January 28, 2011

Guest Blogger: Michelle McLean on Attitude

Today I have a guest blogger! A lady who I consider one of the the best writer buddies. Not only is she a phenomenal crit partner (seriously, my book wouldn't be getting published if it weren't for her) but she's wonderfully sweet, talented, and hilarious to boot. I'm talking about Michelle McLean! When she offered to do guest post on my blog I jumped at the chance. So, without further ado, I bring you Michelle:

I know you’ve heard it a million times…this business is tough…it’s going to be a long bumpy road…grow thick skin, you’ll need it…and a thousand other variations on the same theme. You know why you’ve heard it so many times? Because it’s true :)

 I’ve learned a lot since my early writing days…both in terms of my craft and in terms of my attitude. I’ve had some incredible highs and some heart-wrenching lows. I’ve danced with joy and been so devastated by a rejection it’s brought me to tears.

The one thing I’ve learned that I try to live every day…it’s all in the attitude.

I can let those setbacks destroy my dream, or I can dry my tears, square my shoulders and get back to it. With a smile on my face and determination in my heart. If you really want something and don’t want to be miserable while trying to get it, there really isn’t any other option.

Forgive the Star Wars quote but that awesome little Yoda man just says it best – "Do, or do not. There is no try."

I understand that it might take a while. I understand that it may not happen for everyone. But if you want the end result, whether it be publication or anything else, it will never happen for you if you don’t press forward. And if you don’t have a good attitude about the journey, you are just going to make everyone, most especially yourself, miserable. Life is just too short for that.

I think this applies to any daunting task. For a lot of students out there, being faced with an essay assignment is little better than a facing a firing squad. But if you want the end result (a passing grade for the course) you’re going to have to square your shoulders and get to it.

But it really doesn’t have to be torture. All you have to do is find something about the assignment you are at least mildly interested in, and take it slowly. One step at a time. It might not be your idea of a good time, but letting your frustration defeat you won’t make life any better.

I figure, "If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance." (Anonymous)

Michelle McLean is a writer and the Chief Editorial Consultant for PixelMags, LLC. In addition to her non-fiction work, Michelle writes YA historical novels and other children’s books. If she's not editing, reading or chasing her kids, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book.

Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers is a fun, user-
friendly book that guides the reader, step by step, through writing a dozen different types of essays, including the dreaded SAT essay. Using straightforward, plain English, this book shows the reader exactly what they need to do, from start to finish, and includes rough draft, edited, and final draft versions of every type of essay discussed. This book also provides chapters that include tips and instruction on researching, proofreading, and citations.

You can find Michelle on the web here, follow her blog here, catch her at Operation Awesome, or follow her on Facebook
Her book, Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers can be found at Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Nobles.  


  1. Two of my favorite people. Together. YES!

    You are the first two published writers who ever visited my blog or lent a hand. I'm quite proud to call you both my friends, er, blog buddies ... whatever the hell we are.

  2. Awesome post, Michelle. And like Matthew, I'm proud to say I know you. It's okay if you want to use a little Yoda too. I mean c'mon, it there a cooler guy to be spreading out mantras? And the one you chose is too true.

  3. Developing a good attitude is something I've been working on lately - and it's such a good idea. There's no point staying in the doldrums. Nothing comes to you that way.

  4. Yay for Michelle. I'm so, so, so excited for her to be published (and the first Operation Awesome member to be published). And I agree, she is a phenomenal crit partner.

    I love that Yoda quote. :)

  5. Any post that includes a quote from Yoda is GOLDEN. But even that aside, the advice is excellent. Thanks Michelle!

  6. Great point, attitude DOES matter!!!! Nice post! :D

  7. I love that anonymous quote at the end about dancing on the ice. I've never heard that!

    Great post! Thanks, Cole and Michelle!