Rejection. I’ve had more rejections since I started writing than I’ve had most of my life. It started with critters, then literary agents, the publishers. Rinse and repeat as I revised my work umpteenth times. As an aspiring writer looking for publication, it can be a way of life. That big break is always over the horizon…just out of reach, but one day…one day…or not.
Writing with rejection on my mind is the worst for my muse. For me, it saps my motivation and leads me to develop characters/scenes/stories which aren’t true and dear to me. Constantly changing this and that to meet the demands of the subjective audience with the hope someone…just someone might love it the way I loved it when I first typed the words on the screen. In the end, I’m left with one big mess of wishy washy characters, a story arc which falls flat, a novel I can’t stand to read, and absolutely no desire to write another. Cause really…what’s the point if I can’t get it published anyway?
Yes, publishing is a goal for many authors, including me, but it didn’t start out that way. Remember why you first started writing. I know my original goal for writing wasn’t to get published. I had a story. I wanted to tell it. I had the time to write it. And I so I did–A big accomplishment for me. 85k words later I held my completed manuscript, full of pride. I wrote a full length novel! I didn’t know anyone in my little world who could say that. Then I thought…hmmm I wonder if I could get it published.
I did a little research, learned about critters, sent it for critiques and had my bubble burst. What I heard, not necessary what they said was, I did nothing right. I started the story in the wrong place, they hated my characters, and my writing style was boring.
Then came the thoughts, maybe I’m not a writer. It took a while for me to realize hey, I wrote a novel. The writing wasn’t the greatest, but I did it. I didn’t do it for the critters, I did it for me. I did it because I wanted to do it. I don’t have to write to put bacon on the table. And from what I hear, most writers have day jobs, including published writers. I had to ground myself back into reality. Polishing the work is a bonus. Finding an agent is a bonus. Publishing is a bonus. Writing a story I want to tell and read is a joy.
I am a writer, and that is why I write.
People, I’m talking to you Mister/Miss Author, you don’t need affirmation to keep writing. You didn’t need anyone’s permission when you put your first words to paper. Why do you need them now? You may or may not get published. Then again, you may or may not win the lottery. Who cares? Just write the best story you can. Continue to do your research. And remember why you first started writing.
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love [Write] like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”
Thank you, Mark Twain.