How are you doing? I thought today we should talk about a topic that makes me cringe just to think about it: rejections.
Knock on wood.
I decided, not too long ago, I wanted to pursue a career as a writer. Since I was a kid, I loved writing stories, but for some reason I saw it as a hobby, rather than as a career path I could take. I don't know why -- I loved writing stories, really, but I went to journalism school, instead. When I couldn't suppress any longer my need to write fiction, I figured out I'd be a way happier girl if I did exactly what my heart kept urging me to do. And so I now work toward becoming published.
It's been a very exciting journey so far. It's like being on a roller-coaster, really. What could be more fulfilling than writing down stories and getting a free ride to Dreamland whenever I sit down at my desk to write? Writing allows me a world of opportunities. I've met so many great characters and other writers, and have been to such wonderful places. I feel complete. I know I'll never be alone. But, when it comes to getting published, whatever publishing means you choose, the ride becomes a little bit scary.
I don't know about you, but when I show my writing to other people, as much as I want them to enjoy it, I also can't help feeling exposed. There is so much of myself in my stories, so many layers of thoughts and memories that mean so much to me, I'm suddenly afraid I'm telling too much. I'm exposing myself to criticism, whether it is constructive or not. I'm immediately afraid of getting rejected.
If you are a writer, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Last year, I wrote my first novel in English. I also tried to get an agent. But it didn't work out. I knew I'd get rejected, but when the rejections started showing up in my inbox, I felt really insecure. Perhaps I shouldn't care when I get rejected, but I do. It stings. It hurts a lot, even when I say to myself it's natural to get rejected. People have different opinions, and it's normal they don't like everything you do or write. Still, though, rejections more than often make me feel misunderstood. . . and, worse, they make me doubt the quality of my work and creativity.
Rejections, however, do not mean an agent didn't understand your story, your effort, your dreams and hopes. Rejections just reflect a person's taste. Agents, above all, are readers. They can see you are talented and that your writing means the world to you, but as readers, for a reason or another, the world you created was not for them.
|A picture of one of my mom's kittens -- cheer up, guys!|
I currently am in the query trenches again with another work. Rejections are to come. And positive responses, too. This time, however, I'll look at the process from a different perspective.
How do you feel when you get rejected? How do you handle rejections? Do you have any personal techniques you use to keep self-doubt away when you get a negative response to your writing?