Keep Calm

In 1939, the British government issued a series of posters to raise morale in the case of invasion. 2,500,000 copies of this one were printed, though only a limited number were distributed. In the year 2000, a copy of the poster was found in a second-hand bookshop, and since the design was now in the public domain, it was soon being copied onto T-shirts, mugs, doormats, and various other merchandise from a wide variety of vendors.

Enter my good friend Sara Olds, who just spent a good part of the summer in Europe. She brought us (meaning the SWCG, our critique group) back a bunch of goodies, and among them was a postcard with the Keep Calm and Carry On logo printed on it.
We found it to be an awesome inspirational message. It will probably become a long-lasting motto for our group. It's really a good message for all parts of life: parenting, long lines at the DMV, even waiting for the mail. But it's especially meaningful to us as writers. Let me give you some examples:

  • You're writing your first draft and it hits you suddenly that the thing completely sucks.
  • Your critique group tells you your third draft (which you thought was so much better) sucks. (Though they're nice about it.)
  • You finish your manuscript and find that it needs major revisions.
  • You send out queries and hear nothing for months.
  • When you do hear from the agents you sent those queries to, they tell you your story sucks. (Usually in nicer words, but not always.)
So, I made up the following poster for myself. Tell me what you think. How does the Keep Calm and Carry On motto apply to your life?

Check out what my critique group friends had to say about this topic here:

(A link to Sara's own post on the subject will be displayed here when she has it ready.)


  1. That's wonderful. Thanks to all of you guys for sharing it!

  2. JEN!! I *LOVE* your sign! And I totally want one! pleeeaassee??!!


  3. DUDE, I saw this on Ali and Elana's blogs...LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!

  4. That's great! I'm gonna remember that!


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