Monday, May 30, 2011

The Big "N-O"

This past few days I've been sick (which would explain my absence in the blogger world), and feeling in a generally low state of moral. Let me explain. I've been lazy, and haven't written a word in a couple of days. Added onto that I just heard back from a writing contest I entered a few weeks ago. I didn't win. Sure, I entered it on a whim, and it was for poetry (believe it or not), but it still hurts a little. Now, I don't want to talk about my laziness, or being sick, because I know how to "fix" those. I want to talk about rejection in these post.

If you write you will get rejected. It's part of putting yourself out there, and being a writer. Rejection is often viewed as failure. I suppose in a way it is, but it shouldn't be. When we were kids we were really good at failing. Think back to learning to read. You remember an adult reading you stories, and then you thought "Wow! I want to do that!" So you'd open a slim picture book and stare blankly at the words. You learn your abcs, and soon you're starting to sound out words. You'd mispronounce a word, and then try to sound it out again. You kept sounding out those words, no matter how many times you failed and got them wrong. Finally you were reading. That's the kind of gumption we need to apply to our writing. If our work gets rejected or bad critique the first time, we need to first ask for advice to fix it, and then improve, and try again.

I was reading an author's advice on this particular topic, and she challenges the reader to get 1000 rejection slips before they give up writing. She goes on to say that by 250 rejections she was getting her books published. Yes, it does seem like a lot of "no"s, but that's were that good old perseverance comes in. We don't become pros at writing over night, or over weeks for that matter. We must give ourselves time to learn, and time to write without great expectations. When I realized that I felt a whole lot better about my writing. Take for example, J.K. Rowling, one of the most popular authors of the twenty first century, it took her a year to publish the first Harry Potter book. She persevered, and has become a very successful writer. Now you probably haven't written the next HP series, but the point of that example was the show that even huge authors had to persevere, and keep writing no matter the amount of rejections.

This post, has been a little ramble-ly, but my main point is to not let rejections get you down. We all need to time to learn our craft, and we, as writers, need to persevere. So I challenge you to get your 1000 rejections, before you give up on writing. Take a break from wild expectations, and just write for a while. You'll be amazed at what you get done...

1 comment:

  1. *sigh*....maybe I should write again...I haven't gotten NEAR 1000 rejections!


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