Sunday, March 01, 2009


When Life Dumps Doo Doo . . .

Wouldn’t it be awesome if life handed us exactly what we wanted?

Of course. But then we wouldn’t BUILD CHARACTER by learning how to process disappointment and rejection.

I’m sure you noticed I emphasized BUILD CHARACTER . . .

Sometimes life dumps doo-doo on us. Bad news is bad news – whether it’s in our writing world or our real life.

It’s not right, it’s not fair, it’s not bearable.

Try this triple rational—irrational—rational response set.

First – Be rational. Stay calm and deal with the disappointment like a trooper.

Second -- Let yourself go irrational. As soon as you’re behind closed doors and not near impressionable children, let your emotions fly. Cry, stomp, yell, call your best friend and tell them about it – that it’s outrageous and unfair.

Verbally vomit. Cathart. Be as irrational as you dare.

Third – Be rational again. Process the bad news in an adult way. Tell yourself the right things. Be the adult you are.

This triple-whammy allows you to deal with life’s doo doo on several levels. You’ll feel better and begin to heal.

Plus – you’ll have those full rich emotive experiences to deepen your fictional character on the page. Tap in to your visceral responses when you’re upset and you’ll build your character as well as know how to build your character’s character.
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a national bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller." The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, is due out January, 2009. Contact her at

Margie Lawson -- presenter, psychotherapist, writer -- lives at the top of a Colorado mountain west of Denver. Margie merged her two worlds, psychology and writing, to develop psychologically anchored editing systems and techniques that teach writers how to write page turners. A former college professor, Margie works as a psychotherapist, writes fiction and nonfiction, and presents full day master classes for writers internationally. Go to for more information.

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