The world is tough for everybody. Nobody has an easy go of it. But we as writers are one of few that chose to take our lot in life and make it exponentially more miserable due the constant worry, rejection, and disappointment that comes with being an entrepreneur. Here are a couple of strategies I use to stay positive. It's not easy for me. I'm not a positive person. Perhaps I should rename this, how to keep going, instead of how to stay positive.
1 - Savor the little victories. Whether it's a good review from a friend, or a positive note from a possible agent, or selling a book at a con, or breaking even for the first time after a decade of writing, there are little victories. All of those little victories will add up over time.
2 - Don't forget how far you've come. Whenever I'm with my friends I always and we start complaining, I always say "Yeah, but if we told us from two years ago this would be where we'd be now, they would flip out". You are probably doing better than you think you are, and certainly better than you were two years ago.
3 - Understand you are never where you want to be. No matter where you climb, you will want the next rung. It's just who we are. First we want to finish a book. Then we want an agent. Then we want a publisher. Then we want a release. Then we want a best seller. Then we want a book deal for the next one. Then we want to make enough to quit our job. Then we want speaking engagements. It never ends.
4 - Get out of the house. Look, who doesn't love their house. Nothing is better than walking around in underoos and not needing to impress anybody. But connections are important. And being outside is important. Taking a break from worrying is important. Breaking up the routine is important.
5 - Never stick with something that makes you miserable. I'm also big on never sticking with something that makes you miserable. I know not everybody is in the position to quit a shitty job, or move to a new town, or leave their crappy relationship, but if you even have a plan to do so it will help. Life is short and we only have one go around, so being miserable is even worse. It took almost a decade of building and struggling to form Wannabe Press, but there was always a plan. And even the plan made it all bearable.
Hope it helps!