The lazy days of summer are here, and editors and agents are bracing themselves for the deluge of queries that come with the first crisp days of autumn. What strategies can improve your odds of getting published, or published again?
Many say The Secret, Rhonda Byrne's new, blockbusting motivational book, can change your world for the better. Byrne suggests that, by thinking positively and changing the way you see the world, the world will change for you. Publisher's Weekly calls the book a "New Age self-help book on the law of attraction ... that one's positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, happiness...and did we mention wealth?"
Criticized as a mishmash philosophy that obsesses on material wealth, this book offends some people with such hints that hanging around fat people will taint your thoughts and make you get fat, too, or when it claims that innocent victims of tragedies somehow attracted death and disaster to themselves by thinking negative thoughts.
Critics claim that simply "thinking" yourself rich is unrealistic. Byrne explains how the law of attraction can help you get a parking spot close to the store, and presents as an example a person in dire financial straits who imagines the bills in his mailbox are lottery winnings. Can thinking this way bring wealth?
Some say we would be better off acting on our desires, rather than trying to coax the universe into granting our (oftentimes perceved as excessively material) wants. For example, if you want a better parking place, arrive early or, if you're burdened with debt, take remedial steps like earning more and seeing a financial counselor.
Can positive thoughts trigger the law of attraction and make us published authors without any toil on our part ? Hmm. Perhaps the "secret" is that positive thinking is so powerful that everything falls into place once we start changing the way we think.
The concept of changing our lives by changing our thinking has been around for centuries, in many cultures. Dr. Dwayne Dyer used the teachings of an ancient Chinese philosopher to hone in on thoughts in his July release, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life - Living the Wisdom of the Tao. Dyer shows us that better thoughts can lead to richer, fuller, more joyous lives.
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale was first published in 1952, and it stayed on the NYT best-selling list for 186 consecutive weeks. Similar books have followed. Even Dr. Seuss explored the topic in Oh, the Thinks You Can Think.
Eventually the self-help books made a connection between the Law of Attraction and Creating Affluence, as in Deepak Chopra's 1998 release, Creating Affluence, and again in 2002 with his Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
Can we really "think" ourselves published? "Think" ourselves rich? Are Chopra and Byrne talking about the same kind of "affluence?" Perhaps we are "thinking" the wrong way, and some thought adjustments can bring joy and affluence to our lives ... and a publishing contract.
What we focus on becomes our reality. I recall my efforts to quit smoking, and the DU professor who introduced me to the concept of mental alignment. He was right - I could not quit smoking until I wanted to be a non-smoker, I envisioned myself as a non-smoker, and I rehearsed being a non-smoker. Stated another way, I changed my thoughts. You can say you want to do something, but until you internalize, visualize and commit to yourself (in your thoughts), it won't happen.
Over 50,000 thoughts ping through our minds every day. Think about this: we all have choices, and what we think is a choice. Do you really like that nagging inner voice, complaining about everything, being judgmental and bitter, criticizing your friends, your family, you? This, I think, is the spirit behind these "positive thinking" books.
We can change what we think, make it more positive, be more grateful and hopeful. That will create a new joy in us, a new excitement, a new energy to develop work habits and strategies that increase our odds for success. What a terrific way to start the new year!
Wishing you many more fun-filled summer days and a productive, promising autumn!
Copyright 2008 Janet Lane, Author. All Rights Reserved.