Saturday, April 27, 2013
We Reject Ourselves
A few weeks ago, I received my first full request for my manuscript, DEFIANCE. I was overjoyed! I tried to keep calm remembering, the agent could still not like the full manuscript. My brain was on overdrive. I'm pretty sure my email got annoyed I checked it so much for the next twenty days. Seriously, I think my email began to mock me.
Those days passed. Slowly. The rest of that batch of queries came back as kind rejections. I wasn't expecting to hear back the same day as another simple form rejection. It was an email from the agent. I could see the first sentence before opening it. I took a deep breath and clicked it. It was a kind pass on my manuscript. It was nothing about the novel; the agent loved the premise, but the agent wasn't in love with the novel and to sell it, the agent wanted to love it. It was disappointing. I didn't cry at first. The agent was very kind and though I won't reveal who it was, the agent is still an incredible agent and anyone who gets this person as their agent is very lucky. Anyway, it was a hard to deal with. I'd gotten closer than I had gotten in years. (I had an agent briefly a few years back, but it was a bad situation and I won't get into it.)
I wanted to quit. I wanted to throw things because I felt inadequate to be a writer. Rejection sucks; don't let anyone ever tell you anything different. They are probably numb if they lie or pros at lying to themselves. I began to question if anything I've ever written was good enough. I have a few crappy novels I won't publish, unless someday I do some serious work on them. They are stepping stones on the way to being a better writer.
That was Wednesday. I felt like this.
Today is Saturday. Yes, obviously but today I woke up and I didn't hate writing today. I think it helped I stopped feeling bad for myself last night and decided to work on my critique partner's book. It's awesome by the way. I love his style of writing. He complimented me on doing the A-Z and critiquing a book and doing Camp NaNoWriMo. I almost responded, "Yeah, no big deal."
Actually it is a big deal! As writers, we sell ourselves short. We say what we wrote is crap and we compare ourselves to other writers. Constantly we compare and reject ourselves. We reject our own writing before we even try to let someone else love it.
We have to stop doing that! Writers don't always accept a compliment because we don't wanna be boastful or proud and annoying. It's okay to accept when someone compliments you. Don't brush it aside. Don't always focus on the bad. Focus on what you love about your novel and characters, not about that plot hole the size of Texas and the character with more cliques than a blond with a low IQ. You can fix that.
Accept a compliment on your writing.
Don't blow off that writing a book isn't an accomplishment.
Don't reject yourself before you even begin.
Love your writing and take it one day at a time. Your "once upon a time" will come. Don't hate the journey to get there. Live it.
So, what I'm taking away from this. I'm a writer and I've written seven books. I love what I write, even if it needs some help. It's nothing to look down at myself for. Someday I'll be published. It will all be worth it. Until then, I will love writing and take the rejections as they come, remembering this is not the end. It's a story that is just beginning. And will continue with every page we write.
You'll get there too. I believe in myself and you. :)