what? you have no “yes” file?


blue frog

Frog on a Dime is all about keeping writers encouraged. Let’s face it. We can be a melancholy bunch when left to our own devices. That’s why I believe it’s important to keep a “Yes!” file. A what now?

A “Yes!” file consists of tangible evidence to keep you creative, dreaming and hopeful when everything around you hollers, “Give up already!” By tangible evidence, I mean acceptance letters or even those “champagne” rejections that contain thoughtful comments from an editor. But that’s just for starters. You can fill your Yes! file with cards or notes you’ve received from your “cheerleaders,” teachers, friends or relatives, even hard copies of emails that have topped off your emotional tank. If most uplifting messages come to you by email, why then, open an electronic file and tuck them away there. The whole idea is to have a safe place to keep those words so that when you’re asking the question–Can I keep going? You’ll have a file full of praises shouting “Yes!” right at your fingertips.

Perhaps it’s a sign of my neediness, but today I discovered that I’ve been keeping two Yes! files–one in my home office and one at my day job. I had to clean out my top desk drawer at work because it was almost too stuffed to close and I couldn’t figure out why. The reason, I discovered, was that I had accumulated so many nice cards and notes–and I’d forgotten I’d jammed them in there! It was such a pleasure to re-read those messages from colleagues, many of whom I now call friends.

Maybe you’ve been keeping a file like mine too. Have you looked in it recently? Go find it. Re-read those words. Let the positive affirmations wash over you.

If you’ve never thought of creating a Yes! file for yourself, please start one today. Consider it a gift to yourself. Don’t think you don’t have anything to put in it yet? Why not print off a “Frog on a Dime” post that has encouraged you. I hope by now you know I believe in you!

And, if I may, I’d like to suggest one additional step–why not make it a point to send a fellow writer some enriching and empowering words for his or her Yes! file this week? Or send a thank you note to someone who may not be a writer, but has always been a believer in you and your talents. I still think handwritten notes are treasures, but if it comes down to sending a text or email versus not sending anything, by all means, do whatever works. It’s your words that matter. If anyone understands and the appreciates the power of words, it’s writers, right? Yes!

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.~e.e. cummings

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