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What does resilience mean?
Defining resilience not as the power to tough things out but the vulnerability to ask for help. Angela Duckworth updates 'grit', we ask a favour for the new paperback & an 'enchanting' read.
When you call someone ‘resilient’, what does that mean to you?
Does it conjure up an image of someone like Rocky Balboa? A person who can bounce back from any adversity. Perhaps you think of someone who has a special something - someone who relies on grit, willpower and strength of character to meet their goals?
Grit and determination
Angela Duckworth is a psychology professor who studies what makes people gritty. She defines a ‘grit’ as the combination of passion and perseverance for long-term goals.
She has spent a lifetime researching grit, what it is, what makes some people have a lot of it and how you can get more. When recently asked how her concept of grit has changed over the years she said this:
One thing has become more apparent to me over time: Gritty people are more dependent on other people, not less. They rely more on their coaches, mentors, and teachers. They are more likely to ask for help. They are more likely to ask for feedback. Grit sounds like being a strong individual who figures things out all by themselves. But gritty people try to find other people to make everything they’re striving to accomplish easier. It’s very much about developing relationships, being vulnerable, saying what you can’t do, and then, with the support of other people, figuring out how to do it.
Resilience grows with kindness
When we think of resilience we often equate it with self-reliance. ‘Grit and determination’ are often thought to go hand in hand. While Rocky certainly had both, he had a community that supported him and a coaching team to motivate him. He was willing to listen to and learn from others too. For Duckworth, asking for help and showing you can’t make it on your own is what makes you stronger, grittier and more resilient.
Many writers that we work with blame themselves for not being ‘resilient enough’. Their response involves being tough on themselves - to set bigger goals, to push through, work harder or to give themselves a sharp telling off. But as we talk about in our book, that often has the reverse effect. Resilience and the ability to keep going comes when you’re kinder to yourself, when you take the pressure off and as Duckworth says, when you make whatever goal you’re trying to reach easier and perhaps, a little more pleasurable.
Keep writing, Chris and Bec
We are chuffed to announce that the paperback version of our book Written: How to Keep Writing and Build a Habit that Lasts will be out in January 2024! 🙌
We’re working with the publisher to freshen it up - a new cover is being designed (exciting) and we get the opportunity to fix things (necessary). You can help!
Typos drive us mad, but writers (including us) are notoriously bad at spotting their own mistakes. If you read Written did you spot any typos? Please tell us - just hit reply or email email@example.com
If Amazon sees there are lots of reviews for a title it is more likely to pre-order copies. This affects print run, promotion, and the all-powerful publishing algorithms that increasingly run our lives. If you like Written and it helped you, please do pop a quick review or rating on Amazon or Goodreads. We are forever in your gratitude.
We need to pluck up the courage to get new endorsements, what’s known as ‘blurbs’ in publishing. Not only is this the most terrifying thing to do, it is morally questionable, as blurbs hit the headlines due to a recent scandal. You can read about it in The Guardian or The Atlantic where the brilliant Helen Lewis aka The Bluestocking here on Substack did a deep dive. One of her readers shared this terrific glossary of blurbing terms. PS we are still waiting for a blurb to recognise the ‘enchanting’ role of Peggy our labradoodle in bringing the book to the world. 🐶
Thanks to Bluestocking commenter Neil, who posted this under last week’s newsletter in response to my piece on book blurbs. Source sadly unknown.
BOOK BLURBS GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Enchanting = there’s a dog in it
Heart-warming = a dog and a child
Moving = child dies
Heart-rending = dog dies
Thoughtful = mind-numbingly tedious
Haunting = set in the past
Exotic = set abroad
Audacious = set in the future
Award-winning = set in India
Perceptive = set in north London
Provocative = infuriating
Epic = editor cowed by author’s reputation
From the pen of a master = same old same old
In the tradition of = shamelessly derivative
Spare and taut = under researched
Richly detailed = over-researched
Disturbing author = bonkers
Stellar author = young and photogenic
Classic author = hanging in there
Vintage author = past it
Available now from Amazon and all independent bookstores.