Tough week – grieving my mother’s death, being on my back for two days with terrible muscle spasms, getting used to Boo, Danae’s cat, while being allergic to its fur (but he is cute!) and last but not least, receiving my second book proposal rejection from a publishing company.
Sometimes, life is like this. We’ve all had these moments when life “punches you in the gut.” It takes the wind out of your sails for a while, doesn’t it?
I know what I need to do – pick myself up, brush off the dirt, take a big breath and carry on. My husband texted me this morning, “Hey, keep writing, OK? I love you!” I really appreciated his encouragement and support but there were those few fleeting moments, when I felt like climbing back into bed and escaping life for a while. I didn’t – instead, I decided it was a good time to blog.
This morning, I decided to google “published writers who were rejected” – just to get some healthy perspective. I spent an hour reading stories, not only about published writers but also successful business gurus, scientists and thinkers, inventors, public figures, Hollywood types, artists, musicians and athletes… so many people who have received multiple rejections and experienced multiple failures before they “got it right.”
It’s no surprise to me that it was perseverance that kept all of these people going. Judy Blume, a well-known American author who had written many books for teens and young adults, received nothing but rejections for two years.
“I would go to sleep at night feeling that I’d never be published. But I’d wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent. Don’t let anyone discourage you! Yes, rejection and criticism hurt. Get used to it. Even when you’re published you’ll have to contend with less than glowing reviews. There is no writer who hasn’t suffered.”
I think Ms. Blume has a very healthy way of looking at this up-and-down experience of writing and publishing a book.
These past few months that I have committed to writing has been awesome. I truly love the discipline, the rhythm and the excitement of reflecting on and communicating new ideas. I continue to learn so much each day – including how to respond graciously to the rejections. Both rejection letters have ended with something like, “I hope you are able to find just the right publishing home for this project.” I hope so too. I strongly believe what I’m writing about and I need to finish what I started last July.
I also need to buy some Claritin so I can survive the next month, living with Boo.