As an aspiring author, I am navigating unfamiliar waters. Sometimes it feels more like drowning than navigation, but I digress. This learning process has resulted in more than a few life lessons that my husband has jokingly referred to as my “writing truths.” Some have been amazing and others tough.
Lesson 1: Rejection is Never Fun, and it comes in more than the standard form letter. A few weeks ago I entered a competition and today found out I didn’t place. A good writing buddy placed first in her category. While I am super pumped for her, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to be upset. After all, no one likes rejection or losing.
A few years ago, I would never have considered submitting my work to a publisher, agent or competition. I was terrified of receiving a rejection. The only way to avoid this outcome is to refrain from attempting to publish. However, I realize now that all published authors receive rejections and this is simply an unpleasant part of my career choice. Though I would love to interview the individuals that passed on Harry Potter – bet that is a decision that haunts!
I recently listened to a published author talking about aiming for rejections rather than acceptances. I know that sounds crazy, and I rolled my eyes as I was driving into the office. However her argument was that for every 10 or 20 rejections you receive, you will likely receive at least one acceptance.
The truth is that a rejection only means that on that one day, one editor, agent or judge preferred someone else’s work. Next week or month, under different circumstances the answer may be different. If every author stopped when they got a rejection, the world would be missing a lot of amazing work.
Still, tonight I am going to have a glass of wine and wallow. Then tomorrow, or perhaps later tonight, I will be back at my keyboard. Good luck to everyone on their writing journey and, if you have a chance, check out my friend Raisa Greywood, who is officially a winner!!