Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Take Two Tylenol and Call Me In the Morning

A popular post from September 2010

By Julie Wright

I was reading in Scientific American last night and found an article that just might revolutionize the writing industry. Apparently, an inch behind your forehead lies the place in your brain that deals with physical pain.

And apparently, lumped into that same space is where we deal with mental or emotional pain as well. You hit your thumb with a hammer, fail a test you wanted to pass, or get rejected by your one true love, the hurt registers to your brain in the same place and in the same manner. So they did a test study where half the participants were given placebos, and the others were given two regular-strength Tylenol. Then they put them in situations where they could measure the stress and strain of rejection and failure.

Overwhelmingly, the people with the Tylenol felt better than the people with the placebo.

How does this revolutionize the writing industry?

Maybe those critiques we get from our critique groups and editors won't hurt as much if we take a couple of aspirin. Maybe, because it didn't hurt as much, we'll take the feedback objectively, rework manuscripts, become better writers, and find the courage to submit.

Once we submit, maybe those rejection letters won't hurt as much if we take a Tylenol and wait a half hour before we open them? If it doesn't hurt as much, maybe we'll submit more. If we submit more, we'll probably get a few more rejection letters, but we won't give up, because it won't hurt too much. Because we don't give up, we keep submitting, and ultimately sell books.

Maybe.

It's interesting to think about how many things we don't do--that we REALLY, REALLY want to to do, because it might hurt a little.

It's interesting to think how much more NOT doing those things will ultimately hurt, than the little rejections along the way. The little rejections are temporary--like slivers. Not going after what you really really want?
Now that hurts.

10 comments:

Raejean said...

Your post hits very close to many things I've been thinking about lately; the things I'm afraid to do because it might hurt. Thanks for another perspective!

Becky McKinnon said...

I LOVE this! I'm getting ready to send out a batch of queries--bring on the Tylenol, because I'm expecting a lot of rejections. Now I'll just hope someone decides to include some feedback instead of slapping me with form rejections...
Thanks for reminding me rejections can be a good thing!

Taffy said...

I like your post, Julie! I just took two Alleve so I'll open my critiques in about 30 minutes and see how I feel about them.

Elle Strauss said...

"Not going after what you really want, now that hurts." So true!

Heather B. Moore said...

Great insights, Julie. A lot to think about :)

Amy said...

Taking tylenol for rejection? Awesome!
Now if only they had something for lazy pregnant women with no motivation to write...

Christauna Asay said...

I intend on conducting my own experiment on this topic. Got me a whole bottle of Tylenol and will be using it as I continue to query. Bring it.

Stephanie Black said...

Fantastic post, Julie. I quoted you over at the Frog Blog today.

Don said...

Maybe query workshops could end with the presenter passing out Vicodin.

Or not.

Still, this is very interesting research.

Tamara said...

Well said. Sounds like pain is pain -no matter how it is inflicted? Well, off to restock the tylenol and go after what I really want!