Oct 16, 2010

What If?

by Cindy R. Williams

"What" and "if" are two short and tidy little words with great possibilities. Team them up and you get something that can either haunt you or send out good vibes that rippled much like a stone thrown in a glassy pond.

"How so?" you might ask.

Well, I'm glad to tell you. An example that can torture and derail you from ever reaching your goals is: "What if nobody likes my story?" This one can turn into a self full-filling prophesy and almost paralyze you with fear. You may not even finish your manuscript. If you somehow escape the self-doubt caused by these simple six words, then you enter a whole new area of sending your baby out into the big, bad world. Now the rejections come, --and come they will. Once again, you will have to reach deep inside and learn from this and do some honest editing and send it back out again.

How about if you ask yourself, "What if I complete my manuscript by Christmas?"  This one is a good example of opening up positive outcomes. This positive energy can help you make it a reality, and when you do finish by Christmas, you can be proud of your accomplishment and build on your success.

Here are some "What if?" questions to ponder. You may want to grab a pen and paper and write a two or three sentence answer to each. Let's give it a go.

What if I had a whole week in a cabin to write?

What if I turned off my phone and didn't open my emails so I could just write?

What if I let the wash and house go for a few days? Would the world end?

What if I finish my book? Then what?

What if I sign up to pitch my manuscript to one of the agents or editors presenting at the ANWA Writers Conference February 25 and 26, 2011?

What if I find an agent and a publisher? Then what?

What if I break some body's publishing rules and publish in several different genres?

What if I have to do book signings?

What if I have to do speaking engagements?

What if I ignore the comment that my dialog is weak from a best selling author after she looked at one paragraph of my rough draft? The same rough draft that won 1st place in a major contest. (Yes this happened and it was a good lesson in trusting my own instincts and learning to take some critiques with a grain of salt.)

What if my book hits the big time? Then what? (I dream about this one every time I start beating myself up. It's a fun one and often gets me back writing again.)

What if my book touches someone and gives them hope? This is my most powerful "What if?" and I use it often.

Did you learn anything about yourself?

What are your "What ifs"?  You may find you have two answers to your "What ifs". One that will freeze you so that you won't be able to reach your potential, and one that is daring and invigorating though others may think you're a little bit crazy.

I love the rush of going with the positive dreams and don't mind the "little bit crazy" title. Hmmmm . . . maybe this will be a new blog topic.


  1. My biggest "What if" is:

    What if I get an agent and a contract for my book? Will I then dry up and fumble with any future stories?

    Not very positive, I know, but that always niggles at the back of my mind. Thanks to your great posting, I now have some positive "what ifs" to combat that fear.

  2. Tanya, what a real and very scary "what if". I work hard on pushing, shoving, nudging, blowing up .. . these negative thoughts. They really can be devastating. Thanks for your comment.

  3. What if I actually write a book and it's published and well received, then what?!

  4. I'm going to concentrate on some of the positive What if's. It's just what I need.

  5. The best What If's ever Terri and good for you Valerie!

  6. Thanks for the positive What if's list. I have several writing opportunities in front of me and I have been guilty of the negative variety. Time to change perspective! Thanks Cindy.

  7. I needed that I often get the frozen what if's and this is a good reminder.


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