Saturday, February 10, 2024

Writer, How’s Your Mindset?

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

I’m always looking for a new quote to add to my favorites list. Um, make that lists.

Today I want to share a quote I don’t like. 

“It is what it is.”

Those five short words are like nails on a chalkboard for me. I don’t know about you, but I hear them quite often. I’ve started telling people how much I don’t like that saying. Just me being honest. And then I explain that “It is what it is”sounds defeatist to me. 

It is what it is … and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

Imagine my surprise when a friend asked me, “Do you know the entire quote?”

Nope, I didn’t.

Turns out the quote takes on a different meaning when you know the entire thing: 

“It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it.”


That second sentence changes the quote, doesn’t it?

Knowing who said it also puts the quote in context. Pat Summitt was an American women’s basketball head coach. She coached the University of Tennessee Lady Vols from 1974 to 2012, and she’d accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in college basketball history, when she retired. She also was the first U.S. Olympian to win medals as a player and a head coach.

Summitt influenced a lot of lives not with an “It is what it is” mindset, but because she motivated people to action – to see what was, and then to do what needed to be done. 

What about you? 

Are you facing circumstances in your writing life that make you want to throw up your hands and say, “It is what it is” and then walk away? Remember the entire quote: It is what it is. But, it will be what you make it.

Consider these next steps for your writing:
  • Pray. Always start here. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5). Ask others to pray for you. 
  • Ask for help from your writing community. Not in a writing community? That’s your first step: find one. Connect with a local writers group or an online writers group. Not sure what to do? Email me and I’ll help you find one.
  • Be satisfied with small steps. It’s okay to dream big, but progress often happens one small step at a time. “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” Desmond Tutu (1931-2021), theologian 


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She’s authored 15 novels and novellas, both contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Beth is a Christy Award winner, an ACFW Carol Award winner, and a  RITA® finalist. Her newest contemporary romance novel, Dedicated to the One I Love, released June 20, 2023. Her novel Things I Never Told You, book one in her Thatcher Sisters Series by Tyndale House Publishers, won the 2019 AWSA Golden Scroll Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people. Connect with Beth at


  1. Wow! Love this,Beth. I'm going to write this one down and be sure to live the second part..

    1. Hi, Jeanne, the second part of the quote makes all the difference, doesn't it?

  2. Beth,

    Thank you for the wisdom and insight in your article. I need to read your words at least once a month.


    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition) [Follow the Link for a FREE copy]

    1. Good morning, Terry! Thanks for always being such an encourager.

  3. Beth, outstanding post to start this day. I've used "it is what it is" in conversation and in writing. No more without adding the second part. Thanks for this.

    1. Jay, I'm so glad this post motivated you! Have a great Saturday.

  4. Thanks, Beth. I never knew there was more to that saying. You're right, it changes the meaning. I've been floundering in my writing project for the last couple months and am just starting to get my footing again. This quote will help keep me going.

  5. Hi, Toni! I understand struggling with a writing project -- praying for you as you get going again, my friend.

  6. This comment has always bugged me, too. So wimpy and fatalistic. But now I know how to counter it! Well done. Thanks for sharing the rest of the story. Paul Harvey would be proud.

    1. Agreed, Lori, the rest of the story is so important, with thanks to Paul Harvey.